2015/16 Yearbook Sport

Hockey

FOR a long while, fortunes in international hockey for Kenya have been hard to come by. Nevertheless, the game is played in a large number of high schools. It is vibrant among both boys and girls and Kenyan school teams take their high standards right up to winning the championships at the ever-growing East Africa Secondary School Sports Association (EASSSA) games.

The Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) has a healthy and well-structured countrywide competition starting at the grassroots, which eventually identifies the strongest schools in the counties, culminating in a championship at the KSSSA national games.

The winners at both the boys’ and girls’ competitions earn a place in the East African Championships, against the best sides in the region particularly from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

Regrettably, all the hockey talent available countrywide hardly gets harnessed. Club hockey is grossly inadequate and leadership of the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) has completely been unable to translate promising talent at the grassroots to success on the international stage.

There are teams in a men’s Premier League and a second-tier National League. There is also a women’s national league. But their geographical placing eliminates so many players from the school system.

Here is the landscape of Kenya’s club hockey:

MEN’S PREMIER LEAGUE (2015):

  1. Kenya Police – (Nairobi)
  2. Butali Sugar – (Kisumu) 2014 champions
  3. Green Sharks – (Nairobi)
  4. Nairobi Sikh Union – (Nairobi)
  5. United States International University- Africa – (Nairobi)
  6. Wazalendo – (Nairobi)
  7. Strathmore University – (Nairobi)
  8. Mombasa Sports Club – (Mombasa)
  9. Parklands Sports Club – (Nairobi)
  10. Mvita XI – (Mombasa)
  11. Park Road – (Nairobi)
  12. Western Jaguars – (Kakamega)
  13. Kenyatta University – (Nairobi)
  14. Nakuru – (Nakuru)
  15. Kenya College of Accountancy [KCA] University – (Nairobi)

MEN’S NATIONAL LEAGUE (2015):

  1. Multi-Media University – (Nairobi)
  2. Dedan Kimathi University – (Nyeri)
  3. Kisumu Young Stars – (Kisumu)
  4. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology [JKUAT] – (Kiambu)
  5. Karate Axiom – (Nairobi)
  6. Daystar University – (Machakos)
  7. Technical University of Kenya [TUK] – (Nairobi)
  8. Bay Club – (Kisumu)
  9. Thika Rovers – (Kiambu)
  10. Impala – (Nairobi)
  11. National Youth Service [NYS] – (Nairobi)
  12. Kabarak University – (Nakuru)

WOMEN’S NATIONAL LEAGUE (2015):

  1. Telkom Orange – (Nairobi)
  2. United States International University- Africa [USIU-A] – (Nairobi)
  3. Strathmore University – (Nairobi)
  4. Daystar University – (Nairobi)
  5. Sliders – (Nairobi)
  6. Mt Kenya University, Thika – (Kiambu)
  7. Mombasa Sports Club [MSC] – (Mombasa)
  8. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology [JKUAT] – (Kiambu)

Strathmore University is one of few success stories in Kenya hockey. The college offers limited academic scholarships to hockey players— alongside other sports such as rugby and basketball— and in recent years, because of the continuity offered by the programme decent women and men’s hockey teams have grown from the institution-based at Madaraka, Nairobi.

The men’s team first became outright Kenya men’s league champions in 2006 and had a “three-peat” in 2009, ’10 and ’11. They were also East African champions in 2007.

Strathmore University (Gladiators)

Established: 2003

Training grounds: Strathmore University Sports Complex, Madaraka, Nairobi

Club colours: Home – Navy blue; Away – White

2015:

Coach: Meshack Senge.

Captains: – Constant Wakhura

– Clayson Luvanda

– Francis Kariuki

Achievements:

2006:Kenya Hockey Union National League champions

2007: East Africa Club Championship – winners  – (Moshi, Tanzania)

2009: Kenya Hockey Premier League champions

2010: Kenya Hockey Premier League champions

2011: Kenya Hockey Premier League runners-up

– Semi-Finalists, Africa Club Championships- (Accra, Ghana)

2012: Runners-up Africa Club Championships – (Lusaka, Zambia)

– TK Tournament Champions

– Floodlights Tournament Champions

2014:

At the end of the 2014 season, Kenya had a new name in the men’s hockey championship. Butali Sugar Warriors beat Kenya Police to the title after the conclusion of the men’s Premier League in December.

But Butali Sugar were a re-incarnation of an old, seasoned club in Kisumu previously known as Kisumu (Sikh Union) Simba, a traditional heavyweight for ages. A new sponsor had come on board earlier in the season to give the Kisumu club a new name – Butali Sugar Warriors.

One of the prominent players and inspiration of Butali Sugar warriors was long-time Kenya international Zack Aura. He returned to the team he once played for when it was known as Kisumu Simba and propelled it (Butali Sugar Warriors) to the top.

The final match was at the Kenya Hockey Union’s City Park Stadium in Nairobi and Aura scored the two goals that cancelled a Brian Musasia effort for Police. Butali went through the entire season unbeaten.

The previous season (2013), Police and the then Kisumu Simba were the top two finishers but were unable to represent Kenya in the subsequent Africa Club Championship held in Zimbabwe.

In the 2014 women’s national league, Telkom Orange, the African champions, needed penalty flicks in the last match of the season to overcome a stubborn Strathmore University and win their (Telkom’s) 17th title. United States International University-Africa finished third following a hard fought 2-1 win over Sliders.

The Strathmore University girls took part in the 2013/2014 Africa Club Cup Championship in Uganda and in the following season in Zimbabwe.