• Armed Forces Hockey Re-invented By Kenya Navy

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Aug 05, 2011-

When the armed forces made a unilateral decision to ‘drop’ some disciplines from their docket, hockey players were left without a passion, a place where to express their skills.

At the time, Armed Forces Hockey was the hottest property and the bulk of the national team comprised the bulk of these soldiers who were hardened for battle on and off the pitch. Even the Kenya Hockey Union failed to convince the top brass at the Armed Forces that they were making a grave mistake.

Most of the players tried to join other teams but Armed Forces made sure that they went into semiretirement by posting them away from any hockey activity. It was the same with rugby. The decision has come to haunt the ‘officers’ as they are trying to re-invent themselves. Kenya Navy, a hockey team, which was formed barely a few months ago, is keeping the hockey flame burning. Two key players are Said Okwemba (the captain) and Zack Aura who are currently in the national men’s hockey team.

Unbeaten in seven matches, Kenya Navy will be meeting Multi Media University on Sunday to continue their surge to the top of the national men’s league. They have a chance to climb to the top of the league table at the expense of Nakuru.

The Nakuru side, where Aura honed his skills is a good example of resilience. They have no match at the weekend but ooze inspiration from veteran Andrew-Jean Louis who has managed to keep the team together for a number of years. Nakuru has been a breeding ground for some of the top players who often move to other clubs after their internship.

Focus will be on the performance of former league champions Kisumu Simba when hockey action resumes this weekend after a week’s break. The lakeside team has two tricky matches in Nairobi.

On Saturday, they play KCA University before taking on Kenya Police on Sunday. This is another team which is passionately supported by a former hockey great, Parminder Saini ‘Kake’ and houses some of the Armed Forces hockey ‘orphans’.

In the women’s league, Sliders and United States International University - Africa are pushing for the second and third spots. Sliders could give one of their own a belated birthday present should they win against Mombasa Sports Club.

They are up against a side that defied all odds to score against the ‘new’ champions Telkom Orange a fortnight ago. Vivianne Akinyi, one of the pioneer hockey players for Sliders celebrates her birthday today (Friday).

She is one of the Agunda sisters in the team. Other hockey-playing sisters are Dorcillah, Tina and Anita. Telkom Orange who have no match this weekend were scheduled to play against the Uganda national team but the match has been postponed because of the KHU red-tape.

The league took a short break to allow the national team ample time in training as they prepare for the All Africa Games which takes place in Mozambique next month.

Fixtures Saturday: Kimathi University , Mombasa Institute (2 pm), KCA University v Kisumu Simba (4 pm) – both matches at City Park Stadium, Mombasa Sports Club v Sliders (3 pm, at Mombasa Sports Club).

Sunday: Parklands Sports Club v Mombasa Institute (9 am), Kenya Police v Kisumu Simba (11 am), Strathmore University v USIU-A (2 pm), Kenya Navy v Multi Media University (4 pm) - all matches at City Park Stadium, Mvita v Park Road (10 am in Mombasa).

 

 Eric Odanga & Elvince Joshua

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  P W  D L F A Diff Pts
Police 10 8 2 0 40 9 31 26
Strathmore 11 6 2 3 24 17 7 26
Ksm Simba 11 6 2 3 24 17 7 20
G. Sharks 11 6 0 5 20 16 4 18
Nbi Simba 10 5 2 3 23 17 6 17
USIU-A 10 5 1 4 14 13 1 16
KCA 11 4 4 3 20 19 1 16
W. Jaguars 11 4 1 6 16 24 -8 13
Karate 10 3 1 6 12 21 -9 10
Wazalendo 11 2 3 6 12 19 -7 9
Mvita 10 2 1 7 8 31 -23 7
P. Road 11 0 1 10 10 31 -21 1
  P W D L F A Diff Pts
K. Navy 12 10 1 1 54 17 37 31
Mombasa SC 10 8 1 1 30 12 18 25
Nakuru 12 7 3 2 33 10 23 24
Parklands 12 7 1 4 45 22 23 22
Multimedia 12 7 0 5 18 15 3 21
JKUAT 11 6 1 4 26 18 8 19
Kimathi 10 5 1 4 26 17 19 16
Msa Inst. 10 4 2 4 28 12 16 14
UoN 10 4 1 5 19 15 4 13
K. Poly 12 4 1 7 32 25 7 13
Daystar 11 2 0 9 16 47 -31 6
Gymkhana 10 1 0 9 10 67 -57 3
NYS 10 0 0 10 2 53 -51 0
  P W D L F A Diff Pts
Telkom 11 11 0 0 67 4 63 33
Strathmore 10 7 1 2 35 12 23 22
Sliders 9 4 2 3 28 11 17 14
Mombasa SC 11 3 3 5 19 16 3 11
USIU-A 10 3 2 5 16 14 2 11
Vikings 10 2 2 6 10 14 -5 9
Multimedia 9 0 0 9 0 103 -10 0
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