News for 22 May 2013

All the news for Wednesday 22 May 2013


Black Sticks Men encouraged despite 1-0 loss


Black Stick Hugo Inglis playing his 100th test match tonight against Korea at Papatoetoe. Photosport.co.nz

The Black Sticks Men have lost 1-0 against Korea at Papatoetoe Sports Centre tonight in a game full of speed and skill that was arguably their best game of hockey so far in the six-test series.

“It was a good performance from us tonight and although it was frustrating to concede a goal early on, we were disciplined and played a good game of hockey. It is really pleasing that we are improving with every match, we just need to work on finishing off the opportunities that we create so we can get the goals on the scoreboard,” says head coach Colin Batch.

It was not the start New Zealand were hoping for, letting in an unfortunate soft goal in the first two minutes from Korean Nam Young Lee. A compelling attacking effort from the Koreans followed for the next 30 minutes and the Black Sticks held strong in defence to avoid conceding a second goal.

Early in the second half, Korea were awarded two penalty corners, the first of the match for either team, but goalkeeper Devon Manchester belted both to the sideline and play continued.

Five minutes later, the Black Sticks were awarded two penalty corners of their own but Andy Hayward’s impressive drag flick could not seal the deal. Playing his 100th international test match, Hugo Inglis played well creating numerous opportunities up front along with Auckland striker Phil Burrows.

The Black Sticks kept up the intensity to the final whistle, including replacing the goalkeeper with an extra field player, but unfortunately the Kiwis didn’t get the win they were after.

Both sides play their final game against Korea tomorrow at 7pm at Papatoetoe Sports Centre. Entry is FREE.

The Junior Black Sticks Women play their second match against the Korean Under-21’s at 4.30pm tomorrow before the Black Sticks Men’s game. Click here for their schedule.

RESULTS
Korea 1(Nam Young Lee) Black Sticks 0. HT: 1-0 (Korea lead)

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Korea successful in NZ series

By David Leggat


A third successive win enabled Korea to wrap up their men's hockey series against New Zealand at Papatoetoe Sports Centre tonight.

The 1-0 victory, in a fast-paced, high quality contest, has eighth-ranked Korea 3-0 up after two draws had opened the six-game rubber.

World No.6 New Zealand, missing several leading players on European club duty, get a last opportunity for a victory when the teams meet for the final time at the same venue tomorrow.

The only goal came early on from Nam Yong Lee, with a shot which dribbled over the line. Both teams had a couple of penalty corners, however, strong goalkeeping kept the visitors ahead.

New Zealand did create chances in the second half but couldn't finish them off.

"It was probably the best game of the series so far, good technical skills and I'm very pleased with a lot of our progress but we need a couple of goals," New Zealand coach Colin Batch said tonight.

"There's a lot of positives that came out of the game but also a bit of frustration because we conceded a goal early, and apart from that it was a very even game."

The series is New Zealand's final preparation for for next month's World League 3 (EDS CRRCT) final qualifying tournament in Rotterdam.

The players, therefore, have a last chance to impress the national selectors tomorrow. The squad of 23 will be whittled down to 18 for Rotterdam.

Batch wants more incisiveness in the attacking circle tomorrow and he conceded the odd bit of luck wouldn't hurt either.

"I don't think we're having much luck, but if we keep the intensity then I think we'll get there."

The squad for Rotterdam is expected to be named over the weekend.

The New Zealand Herald



Black Sticks men lose series to South Korea


DOWN AGAIN: Shea McAleese reacts after the final whistle of a 1-0 loss to South Korea in the fifth game of their six-test series. Photosport

The New Zealand men's hockey team has lost a third consecutive test - and with it the series - against South Korea.

The Black Sticks were downed 1-0 at Papatoetoe Sports Centre last night, which followed 2-0 and 2-1 defeats at the weekend. The first two matches in the six-test series were drawn, handing the Koreans a 3-0 lead with just tonight's match remaining.

Despite another loss, New Zealand coach Colin Batch talked up the performance. 

"Although it was frustrating to concede a goal early on, we were disciplined and played a good game of hockey.

"It is really pleasing that we are improving with every match, we just need to work on finishing off the opportunities that we create so we can get the goals on the scoreboard."

It wasn't the start New Zealand were hoping for, letting in a soft goal in the first two minutes, scored by Korean Nam Young Lee. A compelling attacking effort from the Koreans followed for the next 30 minutes and the Black Sticks held strong in defence to avoid conceding a second goal.

Early in the second half, Korea were awarded two penalty corners, the first of the match for either team, but goalkeeper Devon Manchester belted both to the sideline and play continued.  

Five minutes later, the Black Sticks were awarded two penalty corners of their own but Andy Hayward's impressive drag flick could not seal the deal.

Playing his 100th international test match, Hugo Inglis played well creating numerous opportunities up front along with Auckland striker Phil Burrows.  

Stuff



Hockeyroos target World Cup qualification

Blend of youth and experience heads to Europe


The Hockeyroos will welcome back a number of familiar faces as they head to Europe for next month’s Investec Hockey World League in London with the aim of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. The 20 athlete squad strikes a strong balance of experience and youth with seven athletes also eligible for the U21s and July’s Junior World Cup.

Former World Young Player of the Year Casey Eastham (NSW), Jordyn Holzberger (QLD), Jodie Schulz (QLD) and Jade Warrender (NSW) are among those returning to the side following injury. Emily Hurtz (NSW) is selected after spending the season playing club hockey for Dutch side Amsterdam.

Two recent debutants are also named. Edwina Bone (ACT) and Jane Claxton (SA) have received the call-up from Head Coach Adam Commens following their performances against Korea in Perth last month. Claxton is one of those still eligible for selection to the Jillaroos squad alongside Jade Warrender, Emily Smith, Anna Flanagan, Jordyn Holzberger, Karri McMahon and Georgia Nanscawen, who at 20 recently became the youngest player to play 100 matches for the Hockeyroos.

Announcing the selection, Commens said, “We’ve had a good build-up to the World League with the matches against Korea and the Jillaroos recently. Those games have given lots of players the opportunity show what they can do and the performances and form we’ve seen have been taken into consideration.

“The inclusion of our younger athletes shows the strength of the talent coming through the program.”
Commenting on Emily Hurtz’s inclusion, Commens added, “Emily is coming off the back of some good form for Amsterdam, which is one of the best teams in Europe.” 

To qualify for next year’s World Cup, the Hockeyroos will need to finish in the top three in London. Initial sights will be on performing well in a Pool containing the hosts England, South Africa and Spain. A cross-over quarter final against one of the four sides from Pool A, either World champions and Olympic silver medallists Argentina, China, USA or Italy will determine whether Australia contest the World Cup qualification spots.

Outlining his expectations for the Hockeyroos in London, Commens said, “Our aim is to qualify for the World Cup and to perform well in the medal rounds. We’ve had good results against all of our World League opponents in the past 18 months so that gives us confidence.”

Australia will warm-up for the competition with a series of preparatory matches against Belgium, Germany, England, the Netherlands and China.

Nine of those named in the squad were part of the Hockeyroos side that finished fifth on their last visit to London for the 2012 Olympic Games, two places higher than their ranking at the time. The four week tour to Europe is likely to see Madonna Blyth win her 250th cap for the Hockeyroos with the double Olympian having made 248 appearances for the national team since her debut in 2004.

The final 18 athlete squad for the World League tournament will be confirmed just prior to the start of the event.

Hockeyroos Squad for European Tour and Investec Hockey World League
4 June – 2 July 2013

(Listed alphabetically by surname)
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD)
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD)
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT)
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Toni Cronk (Sydney, NSW)
Casey Eastham (Albion Park, NSW)
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT)
Jordyn Holzberger (Ipswich, QLD)
Emily Hurtz (Camden, NSW)
Kirstin Johnson (Mackay, QLD)
Rachael Lynch (Melbourne, VIC)
Karri McMahon (Townsville, SA)
Claire Messent (Berwick, VIC)
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC)
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA)
Georgie Parker (Adelaide, SA)
Jodie Schulz (Wamuran, QLD)
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW)
Jade Warrender (Orange, NSW)
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW)

Hockeyroos’ Fixtures
Hockeyroos’ Preparatory Matches

8 June v Belgium
9 June v Germany
11 June v Netherlands
15 June v England
16 June v England
18 June v China

Hockeyroos’ Investec Hockey World League Fixtures
22 June v Spain (Pool B match)
23 June v England (Pool B match)
25 June v South Africa (Pool B match)
27 June v TBC (Quarter-Final)
29 June v TBC (Classification or Semi-Final)
30 June v TBC (Classification or Medal Match)

Hockey Australia media release



US-Maties inaugural Varsity Hockey champions after nail-biting final

MARIZANNE KOK at Tuks in Pretoria


Maties women’s first team ... inaugural Varsity Hockey champions. Photo: Catherine Kotze (SASPA)

The US-Maties women’s first team are the inaugural Varsity Hockey champions after they won an enthralling and tight battle with NWU-Pukke by the slimmest of margins on Monday night.

The crowd at the Astro fields of the University of Pretoria was treated to a classic tug-of-war in which both teams gave their absolute all. It took 53 minutes before Maties’ Rosanne Lombard scored the only goal of the match, off a short corner, breaking Pukke hearts.

The team from Potchefstroom played with greater intensity and enjoyed the lion’s share of territory and possession, but they lost their nerve and patience whenever they entered the goal circle. This kept them off the scoresheet, despite the best efforts of the dangerous Sulette Damons, Stephanie Baxter and Celia Evans.

Maties’ big stars were Farah Fredericks – who was immense on both attack and defence - Quanita Bobbs and Illse Davids. Despite seeing far less of the ball than the Pukke team, the Stellenbosch girls never stopped fighting and were well-rewarded for their patience.

The result is a remarkable one, considering that Pukke suffered their first and only loss of the competition. Maties also end the challenge with a single defeat, ironically in their very first match of the competition against Pukke. Since then they have gone from strength to strength.

UFS-Kovsies recovered from the disappointment of losing out on a place in the final by beating UP-Tuks 1-0 in the playoff for third place. The home team started the match stronger, creating far more dangerous opportunities in the first period, but Kovsies started testing their defence more and more towards the end of the chukka and remained the better attacking unit for the rest of the match.

The Bloemfontein side’s goal was scored late in the second chukka by Line Malan after a period of sustained pressure on the Tuks defence.

UJ had too much skill and stamina for UCT and won 2-0 to take the fifth place in the competition. Neither side could hold on to the ball for long periods of time, making for a scrappy match in which possession changed hands far too often.

The Johannesburg side took the advantage when Louise Coertzen scored from the penalty spot before Nika Nel ensured the victory from broken play.

Port Elizabeth’s NMMU took seventh place thanks to a 2-0 victory over Wits.

CLASSIFICATION MATCHES

(7/8) NMMU 2 Wits 0
(5/6) UJ 2 UCT 0
(3/4) Kovsies 1 Tuks 0
Final: Maties 1 Pukke 0

SA Hockey Association media release



Arthur McKay Scottish Cup Finals Preview - Milne Craig Clydesdale Western


Catriona Ralph

For Milne Craig Clydesdale Western, the Women’s Arthur McKay Scottish Cup Final represents a great opportunity for the club to bring a domestic trophy back to Titwood for the first time in several years.

And the team are in excellent form having secured the runners-up spot in Aberdeen Asset Management National League Division 1, crucially ahead of Saturday’s opponents Edinburgh University.

Moreover, Neil Menzies’ side have also just tasted success on the European stage having won the EuroHockey Club Champions Challenge II event last weekend.

Looking forward to Saturday’s final, Head Coach Menzies is confident but expects a close encounter, “We’ve played them twice in the league obviously, winning one and drawing one. Both games were very close and I would expect that this game [Saturday’s final] will be close as well. I think it’s one of those games where both teams will fancy their chances.

“Edinburgh University have a mixture of players; they have a few outstanding players and for us it will be about trying to stop them from getting the chance to play [to their strengths]. We also will look to target their weaker players in their team in attach.

Irrespective of the competition, if you get to a final, you want to win that final and that’s what we’ll set out to achieve.”

The road to this year’s final has seen the Titwood outfit keep a clean sheet in every round and much of this can be credited to Scotland international and Great Britain squad member Amy Gibson.

However, Gibson will be unavailable this weekend as she spends time with Great Britain and Kirstin Stobo will replace her in goal.

“It’s a good rivalry we’ve got [with Edinburgh University], they’ve got a lot of young talent coming through but so do we as well though. I think that it will be a really good game and should be a close one”, said Gibson.

With European success and promotion achieved in Prague last week, a domestic trophy would cap off a fine season for the club and captain Catriona Ralph was keen to point out the importance of Saturday’s final to team.

“It’s been a long time since we have had silverware back at the club so for us, winning the Scottish Cup after so many years would be a huge achievement for us and we’re looking forward to it”, said Ralph.

“We’ve got a really solid platform with Amy Gibson in goal and she sets the tone for our defence. We’ve also got a lot of experience within the team, and if we communicate well and mark tightly at in defence, we can keep a clean sheet.”

“We have to take confidence from our previous results against them but we will definitely not take anything for granted. We’re aware that Edinburgh University have a strong squad and Sam [Judge] has got them playing some good hockey. We know their strengths but we’re confident in what we have as a team and with the strength and depth in the team, we’re confident of a win.”
Milne Craig Clydesdale Western:

Kirstin Stobo, Morag McLellan, Nicola Skrastin, Catriona Ralph, Susan McGilveray, Fiona Bruce, Helen Walker, Holly Cram, Anna-Mae Morton, Kath Gray, Ali Howie, Jennifer Eadie, Gillian Green, Susie Gillman, Ali Eadie, Anne Eadie (probable line-up).
Road to the Final:

Last 32: Milne Craig Clydesdale Western W-0 Erskine Stewarts Melville FP (conceded)

Last 16: Glasgow High Kelvinside 0-8 Milne Craig Clydesdale Western

QF: Milne Craig Clydesdale Western 4-0 Hillhead

SF: CALA Edinburgh 0-1 Milne Craig Clydesdale Western

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Field hockey players vie for U.S. team spots

By Jami Frankenberry


Former South Hampton Roads field hockey standouts Casey DiNardo (Cox), Stefanie Fee (Cox) and Katelyn Smither (Lakeland) are among 108 players selected to participate in the 2013 Women's National Championships, slated to begin Thursday at Old Dominion.

The players will compete for regional teams in a tournament while contending for a spot on the U.S. Women's National Team roster. Play runs through May 29. The tournament, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Powhatan Sports Complex.

DiNardo, a rising sophomore at North Carolina, and Smither, who played at ODU, are on the Mid-Atlantic/South team. Fee, who played at Duke, is on the Pennsylvania squad.

The Virginian Pilot



Akhtar Rasool to lead team management until World Cup


During Akhtar Rasool's tenure, Pakistan bagged a bronze medal in the last Champions Trophy and gold medal in the Asian Champions Trophy last year. -Photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com

LAHORE: Pakistan Hockey Federation has decided to retain Akhtar Rasool as the head coach and manager of the national hockey team until next year's World Cup adding few professionals in the team management staff to boost the performance of the team.

“Chief manager and coach, Akhtar Rasool and coach, Hanif Khan will continue until the 2014 World Cup and we are thankful to Akhtar to show his willingness to remain with the team till the Cup,” said Secretary PHF, Muhammad Asif Bajwa, at a news conference at the national hockey stadium.

Earlier reports had suggested that Akhtar was planning to take time off from hockey to focus on his political career. However, Akhtar said he had made the decision in the larger interest of hockey and to play his part in improving the Greenshirts’ performance.

“World Cup is our main target and I will be doing my best to elevate the team's performance in the mega event,” he said.

“Prior to the World Cup we will be defending the title in Asia Cup and it would be my utmost effort to help the team in maintaining its number one status in Asia.”

During Akhtar's tenure, Pakistan bagged a bronze medal in the last Champions Trophy and gold medal in the Asian Champions Trophy last year, but only could take seventh position at the London Olympics.

On team management's request, Adnan Zakir has been appointed as trainer and nutritionist while Asrhad Hussain will be the goal keeping coach whereas, Tahir Zaman will be available to the senior team management and will be giving his input whenever his services are required.

The first phase of the national team’s training for the World Hockey Series will commence from May 29 at Abbottabad and the second phase will commence from June 18 in Karachi and the team will leave for Malaysia on June 23 to take part in the league starting from June 29.

Dawn



Rasool, Hanif to remain at helm till World Cup

By Fawad Hussain




It was speculated that Rasool, who took charge before the London Olympics, was considering quitting the post to concentrate on his political career. PHOTO: ONLINE

KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has placed its confidence in the current team management headed by Akhtar Rasool as it decided against making changes to the panel of coaches.    

The decision was taken in a meeting between PHF secretary Asif Bajwa, the team’s manager and head coach Akhtar Rasool, coach Hanif Khan and the federation’s consultant Tahir Zaman.

It was speculated that Rasool, who took charge before the London Olympics, was considering quitting the post to concentrate on his political career. However, according to Hanif, Rasool will continue to head the team management.

“There was no decision of a change in the team management,” Hanif confirmed to The Express Tribune. “The coaching panel includes Rasool (head coach) and Ajmal Lodhi (coach), besides me. It was decided to continue till the World Cup.”

Hanif said there was an addition to the panel as former international Arshad Hussain had been appointed as the goal-keeping coach to replace Ahmed Alam. “Arshad has experience and has coached the senior team in the past. We are hoping for an improvement in our defense now.”

Meanwhile, it was also decided to make Zaman, who was mainly associated with the juniors’ team, available to assist the senior squad.

I wanted stability: Rasool

Rasool said his decision to continue as head coach was to ensure stability until the World Cup.

“The change would have not been appropriate with just a year left for the World Cup,” said Rasool. “I’ve decided to serve the country as hockey remains my biggest priority.”

It was also decided to hold a training camp for the senior team in two phases. Pakistan will take part in the International Hockey League and Asia Cup in late June and July in Malaysia and both the tournaments will serve as qualifiers for next year’s World Cup in the Netherlands. The team management decided to hold camps in Abbottabad (May 29 to June 15) and Karachi (June 18-23) before leaving for Malaysia to kick off the team’s preparations for the World Cup.

The Express Tribune



PHF retains Akhtar-led team management till World Cup

Staff Report




LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Tuesday retained Akhtar Rasool-led team management till next year’s World Cup and added few professionals in the team management staff to boost the performance of the national team. “Chief manager and head coach Akhtar Rasool and coach Hanif Khan will continue till 2014 World Cup and we are thankful to Akhtar for showing willingness to remain with the team till the World Cup,” PHF secretary general Muhammad Asif Bajwa told reporters at National Hockey Stadium here yesterday. Also present on the occasion were Akhtar, Hanif and PHF consultant Tahir Zaman.

It is pertinent to mention that Akhtar had a lengthy meeting with PHF president Qasim Zia and his decision to continue as the chief of the team management ended all rumours that he will not continue. Bajwa said it was a good omen that Akhtar would be available to impart training to the team till the World Cup prior to which the team would take part in a number of international events abroad.

Bajwa said the first phase of the national team training for the World Hockey Series will commence from May 29 at Abbottabad and the second phase will commence from June 18 at Karachi. “And the team will leave for Malaysia on June 23 to take part in the league commencing from June 29.” He said that on the team management’s request Adnan Zakir had been appointed as trainer and nutritionist and Arshad Hussain as goal keeping coach. He said Tahir Zaman would be available to the senior team management and would be giving his input whenever his services were required.

Speaking on the occasion, Akhtar said he had taken the decision to continue as the head of the team management in the larger interest of hockey and to play his role in improving the national team’s performance in the World Cup. “World Cup is our main target and I will be doing my best to elevate the team’s performance in the mega event,” he said. “Prior to World Cup we will be defending the title in Asia Cup and it will be my utmost effort to help the team in maintaining its number one status in Asia,” he added. Akhtar said ran in his blood and during his association with the team he put in his best efforts to blend them into a winning combination. “So far the results achieved under my coaching shows that we are making good progress in right direction,” said former Olympians Akhtar.

Tahir praised the decision of Akhtar to remain associated with the team management and termed Akhtar’s decision ‘balanced’ while focusing on the future of Pakistan hockey. Hanif said Akhtar had taken a wise decision to remain with the team and he believed that under his coaching the team would improve further.

The Daily Times



Winning start for Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy women began the defence of their title with 2-1 win over Chandigarh in the Hockey India Sub-Junior Men & Women National Championship, here on Wednesday.

MPHA opened scoring through Neelu in the third minute while Preeti Dubey scored the other goal in the 19th minute. Saroj scored the only goal for Chandigarh in the 17th minute in the Pool A match at Aish Bagh Hockey Stadium.

In Pool B, Haryana registered a 13-0 win over Andhra Pradesh. Haryana scored through Udita (1, 39 min), Navpreet Kaur (10, 61 min), Reet (17 min), Navneet Kaur (31, 38, 57 min), Ritu (22 min), Pooja (34 min), Nancy (62 min), Sonika (65 min) and Manpreet (68 min).

In another Pool B match, Jharkhand beat The Hockey Maharashtra 7-1. Jharkhand scored through Kanti Pradhan (2, 26 min), Promila Soreng (8, 21 min), Priyanka Topno (33 min), Supriya Mundu (50 min) and Own Goal (60 min) while The Hockey Maharashtra scored their only goal through Nisha Rani (39 min).

In the men’s category, defending champion Odisha drew 4-4 against Jharkhand in the Pool A match. Goal scorers for Odisha were Sudhir Mundu (9 min), Mahendra Toppo (51 min), Amit (54 min) and Jospeh Nag (65 min) while Nitin Mukesh (16 min), Sujar Minz (40 min), Amit (70 min) and an Own Goal (12 min) helped Jharkhand to level the score.

In the other match of Pool A, The Hockey Maharashtra defeated Karnataka 3-1. Sumit Prasad scored two goals for The Hockey Maharashtra (2, 28 min) and Aniket Gaurav (55 min) while Shashi Dung Dung scored the only goal for Karnataka (27 min).

Zee News



St John’s have mountain to climb

By PHILIP ONYANGO


Mombasa region’s  Secondary schools  hockey girls’  champions St John’s Kaloleni have a mountain to climb in a tricky Pool A  in the regional games set for Voi next week.

St Johns have been placed with bitter rivals and former champions Matuga Girls from Kwale County and Taita Taveta County’s Bura Girls in Pool A of the term two A games.

The pool also has an unpredictable Lamu, who may spoil the party for the favourites  if not given a close check, while Pool B has Murray Girls from Taita, Gilore  from Kilifi and Mombasa County representatives. In the draw released Tuesday, hockey boys’ Pool A has Taita, Mombasa  2, Lamu  and Kilifi county representatives while pool B has Taita 2, Mombasa  1  and Kwale.

Bura Girls won hockey title

In handball girls, Pool A has Taita 1, Kwale 2, Lamu and Mombasa while pool B has Taita 2, Kwale 1, and Kilifi while boys’ handball  pool A has Taita 1, Mombasa 2, Lamu  and Kilifi while Pool B has Taita, Mombasa 1 and Kwale.

Meanwhile, during the county games which concluded all over the region last weekend, Mariakani Secondary dominated the Kilifi county games lifting the boys handball and hockey titles as the games concluded at St Georges Secondary on Sunday.

Mariakani hit Barani 1-0 to lift the boys’ hockey title and beat Malindi High 19-17 to lift the boys’ handball title.  St John’s Kaloleni girls clinched the girls’ handball title after a tough final against Barani Secondary which went into penalties.

St John’s retained the girls’ hockey title with a narrow 1-0 victory over Gilore  after beating Chumani 7-0 and Ribe Girls 4-0. St Georges retained the rugby Sevens title hitting Malindi High School 38-0. In Taita, Kenyatta High School defeated Dr Aggrey 2-0 to win  the boys’ hockey title with Bura Girls winning the girls hockey title.

Daily Nation



Viewpoint: Is Africa a basket case or continent of opportunity?

By Steve Jaspan


I heard on the news yesterday that Africa has seven of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Africa is reputed to be the “Continent of Opportunity”, the Continent which is yet to fulfil its full potential – or so say some well-known economists.  Some cynics have a contrary view, saying Africa is a ‘basket case!’

It is also a continent where “true democracy” is not a common and cherished concept.  It is a Continent where travel is generally neither cheap nor easy, language and cultural differences abound.

But that should not prevent African Hockey Administrators in every country working together, co-operating and assisting one another to develop the game on this Continent, because we are bound by our love for the game.

One of the candidates for the new post of Project Manager for the African Hockey Federation told me that the concept of ‘twinning’ – where better developed hockey nations assist their neighbours – is not necessarily the solution.  Well, in my opinion, it has to be part of the solution together with innovative planning and cost-effective implementation of those plans.

For those who are keen to develop hockey in their country and on the Continent there is an amazing amount of information on the internet. We can share ideas, expertise and resources to make us stronger. The whole will certainly better than the sum of the parts.

So if we are going to make a difference and make Africa a truly competitive Continental Hockey Federation the time has come to step forward.

Please make sure your National Association is represented at the African Hockey Federation’s Congress in Nairobi, Kenya on 5 October 2013 and participate in the move to lift African Hockey to a higher level!

Can we do it?

In the words of Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, whose father was born in Kenya – “Yes we can!”

Steve Jaspan is  the Chairman of the FIH High Performance and Coaching Advisory Panel. The South African native contributes a monthly column to the FIH website called Viewpoint.

FIH site