Hockey standards pitiful

The national men and women’s hockey teams have once again failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Kenya settled for bronze in the qualifying championships that ended in South Africa last weekend.

South Africa men and women’s teams ruled the roost.

Their men’s team beat Egypt 1-0 in the final while their women’s team won the round-robin contest. Kenya women lost 12-0 to South Africa and 3-1 to Nigeria.

The results were a stark reminder of the differences in the standards of play between teams from northern, southern and eastern Africa regions.

Officials from Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya met on the sidelines of the qualifiers to discuss the game’s future in the region.

Tanzania men and women’s teams settled for eighth and ninth places respectively while finances locked out Uganda.

The Kenya team was subjected to deplorable conditions in preparation for the contest. The government only provided them with travel tickets at the last moment.

Though the government is supposed to fund national teams, the Kenya Hockey Union must seek ways to improve the game in the country.