Lack of financial investment hurting hockey: Owoka


Lack of financial investment hurting hockey: Owoka
Butali Warriors players celebrate Frank Wanangwe's goal against Strathmore University during their Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League final match at City Park Hockey Stadium on December 03, 2016. The match was abandoned due to rain. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha/C itizen.

In Summary

  • Former Butali Sugar Warriors head coach Dennis Owoka has bemoaned lack of sponsorship as the main challenge to the growth of hockey in the country.
  • Owoka who guided the sugar men from Western Kenya to their fourth league title in November last year, says it hurts that the hockey league is dominated by universities, colleges and police teams.
Godfrey Ashiali

Former Butali Sugar Warriors head coach Dennis Owoka has bemoaned lack of sponsorship as the main challenge to the growth of hockey in the country.

Owoka who guided the sugar men from Western Kenya to their fourth league title in November last year, says it hurts that the hockey league is dominated by universities, colleges and police teams.

“When they (corporates) come to sponsor hockey then we can start singing a new song. But when you realize that we only have Butali Sugar Company who have proved their love for hockey by sponsoring Butali Warriors then it leaves a lot to be desired.

He went on: “Most of the teams in Kenya are universities, colleges and police clubs doing hockey and this is a worrying trend,”Owoka bemoaned.

Owoka who joined Butali Warriors in 2017 and helped them to back-to back Kenya Hockey Union Premier League titles is now handling Tunza Sports Academy as well as coaching DGF-Wolverings hockey team.

The hockey maestro has however submitted that like Kenya, the sport is facing tough times in the continent at large.

“In Africa we have seen Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa coming up rapidly and despite their late entry in the hockey arena, Kenya has not been able to outfox them for long in Africa since 1980s,”observed Owoka.

Hockey is among the sports that were suspended by the government in March after the first coronavirus case was reported in the country.

Nevertheless, Owoka says that various clubs are prepared for a restart when the ministry of health and that of sports will announce so.

“Many clubs have adopted the guidelines given by the ministry of health on how to combat the spread of Covid-19 and I can confidently say that we are ready to go back to the pitch to do what we love doing,” he concluded.

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Story By Godfrey Ashiali
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