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Big loss for Nyanza hockey giants as Term I school games fate unknown

HOCKEY By Washington Onyango | July 10th 2020
Kisumu Day hockey player Felix Odhiambo in action during the 2020 Biro Lich Tournament in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

Nyanza Regional Secondary School hockey giants Kisumu Day and Sinyolo Girls High School will have to wait longer to reclaim their long lost national glory.

The Term One schools programme had already started at the sub-county and county levels before the coronavirus brought everything to a halt.

It now means that schools like Kisumu Day and Sinyolo who were keen to make a mark this year might not have the chance to do so.

This is after the Ministry of Education declared this year's school calendar null and void due to the coronavirus with both primary and secondary schools now scheduled to resume next year.

Kisumu Day hockey coach Booker Odhiambo said his team was in top form and ready to conquer regional, national and East Africa.

Odhiambo said he was disappointed that they will not be achieving their dreams sooner as they had planned.

“When the year started, we had set a target of advancing to the East Africa games. The boys were in excellent form especially after registering stellar performances during the already played sub-county and county competitions,” he said.

Kisumu Day were crowned county hockey champions after thrashing Ndere Boys 7-1, a score that saw them register 45 goals in the competition.

They were supposed to advance to the regional games that were to be held at St Joseph Rapogi Boys in Migori County before the coronavirus disrupted the games.

“We had showed the hunger for victory by beating teams from the sub-county to the county levels which I am impressed. The boys have been ruthless since the start of the year and we cannot wait to respond even much stronger at the regional level,” he said.

However, Odhiambo still thinks the break from now to next year might in the end help his team.

“I had built a new team comprising First and Second Formers and by the time we resume play next year, I believe they will be more mature and experienced having played at the county levels,” he added.

Sinyolo Girls coach Aloice Owino said the girls are demoralised and worried after being let down again for the third time in their pursuit to return to the top.

He said the girls are worried about rules of the game which will affect majority of them with age caps already in place.

“This was to be the year we come out of the cold after three years out. We had a dream which was going according to plan but the pandemic destroyed everything. The girls are worried about the new rules which might lock them out of play too,” he said.

“We don’t know whether we will start afresh from the sub-county or resume directly to the regional games. However, we will be ready for either outcome that will be communicated.”

Sinyolo Girls, the former East African champions, thrashed Kisumu Girls 5-0 to retain the title and book a ticket to the Nyanza Regional games.

Maseno School were also eyeing the national basketball crown after edging out Onjiko Boys 66-29 as Sinyolo Girls also booked a ticket in the basketball category after dethroning defending champions Koru Girls with a 42-26 win.

In Siaya County, Chianda Boys and Nyamira Girls will represent the county in the regional games. Ambira Boys defeated Maranda 40-36 to lift the basketball title as Barchando Girls (basketball), Sega Girls (handball), Rangala Boys (handball) all qualified for the regionals.

Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association Secretary David Ngugi however said there will be no rush in making decisions.

“We will be waiting for directions from the Ministry of Education before reviewing the rules of the games and deciding on where to start from,” he said.

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