Last updated 8 days ago | By Washington Onyango
The 2020 Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Women’s Premier League was just 12 days old when the first coronavirus case was reported in the country.
Three matches had already been played with defending champions Blazers defeating last year’s runner-up USIU Spartans 1-0 and Amira Sailors thrashing Orange Leonas 3-0 in the two opening matches.
In the third match, Ruth Adhiambo featured in Strathmore University’s barren draw against newbies Wolverines but her dreams of helping the team improve its performance in the second match were shattered after the Government suspended all sports on March 14.
Six months later, Adhiambo has not given up on making a return to the pitch.
She is positive amidst uncertainty occasioned by the irregular COVID-19 situation that the country will return to normalcy and the premier league will resume, soon.
“Nothing makes me happier than playing hockey. The game gives me comfort and peace and I can’t wait to get back to the pitch,” Adhiambo said during an interview with the Standard Sports.
Encouraged by the return of sports across the world, Adhiambo said her main objective is to help Strathmore fight for the premier league title which has been dominated by Blazers (formerly Telkom).
“Our main objective this season was to win the premier league. Despite a slow start (draw), we were planning on improving our game before Covid-19 happened,” she said.
Working with a special training and workout routine for the past six months, she believes she is yet to post her ‘A’ game.
“Since Covid-19 was first reported and with the social distance requirements in place, I have been training on my own. I do early morning runs and home workouts, which was not part of my routine, but I am now in good shape to face even tougher opponents,” she said.
There are high hopes that activities would resume soon after the Ministry of Sports released proposed protocols for resumption of sports in the country last month.
In the proposal, resumption of sports activities will take place in three phases.
The first phase will be dedicated to medical and athletes’ tests followed by the second phase where the players will be required to resume training individually for seven days before training in small groups for a week.
The third phase will involve collective training.
Adhiambo started playing in 2012 after joining former East Africa Secondary Schools girls’ hockey champions Kerugoya Girls High School.
Having started out just as a school team fan in the stands, she went on to be a crucial player for the team where she helped Kerugoya qualify for national and East Africa secondary school games in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Her determination and hard work on the pitch saw her land a sports scholarship to join Strathmore University in 2016 where despite not scoring a goal, she helped the team finish second behind Blazers in the Premier League.