Last updated 3 months ago | By Washington Onyango
Millicent Adhiambo loves winning whether in class or on the pitch.
The 17-year-old grew up playing football and volleyball during her primary school days at Migosi Primary School until she joined Nyanza region hockey giants Sinyolo Girls High School in 2017.
She decided to try hockey after being attracted to the game, not knowing it will take her places. She got a chance to play in the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Women Premier League and went to France in 2018.
She was part of the Sinyolo Girls school team that were crowned East African Champions in 2017, a team that went to France during the Centenary Celebration in commemorating World War II.
With a capability of playing both as a striker and a goalkeeper, ‘Milee’ as she is commonly referred to by her teammates tells Sunday Standard Sports how she is coping with both school and playing hockey considering she is expected to sit her KCSE by the end of the year.
HOW DID YOU BALANCE BEING IN SCHOOL AND PLAYING IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE?
I take advantage of tutoring services, study hall to stay on top of my academic game. When I am in school, I forget about Lakers and vice versa.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Maintaining my performance both academically and on the pitch. Both are practically important to me and I always try to do the best in both.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION OF THIS SPORT?
People view this sport as dangerous, considering we use sticks to hit a hard ball. A game that can injure someone. But that is not the case, this sport is enjoyable and fun.
YOU ARE A GOALKEEPER FOR LAKERS BUT A FORWARD FOR SINYOLO GIRLS... HOW DO YOU COPE WITH THE TWO?
I know the weaknesses and strengths of both positions and that’s how I manage. For Lakers, I play as a goalkeeper which exposes me to know more about strikers’ strengths and when I get to Sinyolo I play as a forward since I know what keepers will expect and do the opposite.
HOW HAS LAKERS IMPROVED YOU?
The exposure I got since joining the club in 2018 has been inspiring. That is why I am able to play in two positions.
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TO SUCCESS?
There is no secret to success; it is all about hard work, discipline and putting God first.
WHAT IS THE BEST MOMENT OF YOUR PLAYING CAREER?
Leading Sinyolo to be East African Secondary School hockey champions in 2017 and having the opportunity to visit France the next year.
WHAT’S THE CRAZIEST THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE ON THE PITCH?
Hahaha! During the Kisumu County High School games, I rounded the goalkeeper, but decided not to score because we were leading by more than seven goals.
YOU ARE ONE OF THE MOST PROMISING PLAYERS; DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE NATIONAL TEAM?
It is a dream that I hope to achieve. After winning the Premier League’s Most Outstanding Goalkeeper award last year, I believe I can make it if I keep pushing my limits. Representing my country will be an honour.
WHO INSPIRES YOU IN BASKETBALL AND WHY?
Strathmore University and national team captain Jilly Okumu. She plays her heart out and she is a team player. She is always free and open to advise the young players and I admire her passion for the game.
WHO IS YOUR MOST TRUSTED FRIEND AND CONFIDANT IN THE TEAM?
Ashley Akinyi. Though she is strict, everything she tells me work to my benefit.
WHO IS YOUR MENTOR?
My mum. She is everything to me. She has struggled to ensure I get to where I am.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL?
Ugali and samaki. Fish is everything…hehehe
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE MUSICIAN AND WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU ENJOY MOST
Mafikizolo and Rayvanny in Africa and Mr Vegas and Christopher Martin globally. I enjoy reggae, bongo, gengetone, riddims and Lingala music.
IN KENYA... WHICH ATHLETE OR SPORTS PERSON DO YOU CONSIDER THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME?
IF NOT HOCKEY WHAT OTHER SPORT WOULD YOU HAVE PLAYED?
I would play football or volleyball.
WHICH KENYAN INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY PLAYER DO YOU ADMIRE?
Tunza Sports founder Rakel Otieno who plays in the United States.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE BY THE END OF THE YEAR?
Guide Sinyolo Girls back to the nationals and East African games.
IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS... WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF?
A player in Europe or United States.
GIVEN CHANCE, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE IN THE KENYAN HOCKEY?
I would have loved to see the Kenya Hockey Union organise more international tournaments for players, and of course all the hockey players paid well. Most of us are doing everything by ourselves and without support.
They should involve players outside Nairobi too in the national team.