Big boost for Kenyan hockey: Union patron Diaz working on a big plan to make Kenya a hockey powerhouse

By Tony Owori: Tuesday, October 10th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Hockey
Hockey Kenya Hockey Union patron Chris Diaz

The Government has shown great support as Kenya Hockey Union seeks to improve hockey standards in the country.

Kenya Hockey Union has landed another deal that will be of great significance in their quest to improve standards in Kenya.

This came after the Government committed to offer support in putting up infrastructure, in addition to the earlier support for the Africa Cup of Nations team set for Ismailia, Egypt, from 22 to 29 this month.

The union received Sh8 million from the Government, which is the first bit of the Sh24 million promised over three years to go towards the new astro turf.

The developments were confirmed by KHU patron Chris Diaz who seems to be keen on making Kenya a hockey powerhouse not just in Africa but in the world through his strategic plan that will take Kenyan hockey to another level.

“Other than the Sh7.5 million we received from the Government for the Egypt trip, we also got Sh8 million that will go towards building and improving the hockey infrastructure in Kenya. This is just the first bit of the Sh24 million the government is ready to give us for the same project,” Diaz told The Standard Sports.

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The patron is keen on building standards right from the grassroots to senior level in his bid to make hockey one of the biggest sports in Kenya as well as plotting for good achievements in future continental and world major hockey events.

“Together with other partners, our main aim is to build hockey capacity from junior to senior level which will no doubt help the country to achieve more in major international events.

“The top hockey nations like Netherlands and India are ready to work with Kenya in coaching and technical areas as well as to improve our competitiveness. This will include several visits and friendly matches between Kenya and the nations in partnership,” Diaz added.

As noted by the patron, the biggest challenge is infrastructure and good plans that can help improve the standards are in place. “The biggest issue is infrastructure and once we have worked around that, our aim is to get more hockey competitions from junior to senior level. I already have plans of organising the Kenya Cup, which will be an Under 21 competition – schools and universities in every cunty.”

There are also plans to form veterans’ tournaments which Diaz says: “We have to recognise our hockey veterans and doing a tournament for them will be good in many ways. It has to be done because they can be very instrumental in this journey of making Kenyan hockey great. We need many hockey lovers on board and their ideas, support, involvement and just general input can take us good steps ahead.”

The patron, who has a rich hockey background as a player, says a lot of support will be needed to achieve their plans and they will be more than happy to have many partners to help. “It will be quite involving and with the support we are getting from the Government, other private partners will be needed to make it big like it should be as we plot our journey to the international stage where world cup and Olympics are some of our targets.”