Most of us have had a very negative perspective about the year 2020, which is utterly understable due to the spread of the covid-19 pandemic. Life itself was at a standstill and so did hockey. The Kenya hockey leagues stopped even before action began, training was halted and everything was completely disrupted. The government had to come up with strict measures to curb the spread of the disease. These measures including training fields to be closed due to the need to keep social distance were a big blow to all hockey players and the whole hockey community in Kenya.
- Show of Unity
Certainly, the pandemic brought fear and it was a definite cause for teams to disintegrate due to the division brought about especially by the quarantine enforced by the government. Amazingly, The coast hockey fraternity found a way to bring everyone together. That togetherness has been shown from the April 2020 untill now.
- Online platforms.
WhatsApp groups, Facebook groups , YouTube became the mode of communication keeping teammates together. Short videos becoming the new mode of training used by different coaches to explain different hockey concepts in Facebook groups and WhatsApp groups. Its not a miracle yet but it was something extraordinary to see all hockey players in Coast being in one WhatsApp group regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. The coast hockey fraternity WhatsApp group broke all the rivalry between clubs.
This is a hockeyplatform with a dedicated team with a mission to showcase the hockey talent in Coast and to bring together the Coast hockey fraternity by being a brand that unites all the clubs, players, coaches and sponsors together.
- Rise of serial leaders.
If there was a time where Coast hockey needed leadership, this was it! With the likes of Coach Masero of Mombasa West hockey club, Mark Mwangi of Mvita XI hockey club, Mean Mariano and Brenda Wangila both of Mombasa sports club assuming the bigger roles of uniting the Coast hockey fraternity by organising joint training sessions at different grounds. This led to the integration of all the hockey clubs in Mombasa to be one team.
- Formation of new teams.
Coast hockey had only three male teams and only one ladies team. It was everyone’s plea that we increase the number of clubs in Mombasa to bring high levels of competitiveness and also an avenue to bring up new players into the fold. The first team to be formed was The Daikyo heroes hockey club sponsored by Daikyo motors Japan. This was a bold move as more players were unearthed, being a huge plus for Coast hockey. Later a ladies team from Mombasa west came along “Swans hockey Club” a team that might be dubbed Mombasa west ladies hockey club. In the space of just one troubled year, we got two strong, competitive teams to represent the Coast of Kenya.
Friendlies were the main strategy to keep teams up and ready for competitive games and players being fit. Friendlies were played on a daily basis to cover for the lost time when everyone had been quarantined in their homes.
Despite the lockdown and the strict instructions from the government, right after the resumption of sporting activities, We still managed to hold a number of successful events towards the end of the year. The Jamhuri day Cup sponsored by Daikyo motors was held successdully, Mombasa West hockey club winning the lovely trophy. The second event which is usually an annual event in Mombasa was the Annual Inter-Estate (mtaa) hockey festival was held on 20th December. This was the last event of the year. This event attracted sponsors and well wishers from every corner of Mombasa, from individuals to Companies who contributed either Cash, trophies and medals to the event organisers for the Winners and runners up. This event was very much successful, attracting new sponsors who can help raise the standards of the game in the Coast. Congratulations to the HockeyHalisi team for organising such a memorable event.
A troubled year that brought the best out of each one of us. Everyone stood firm as a United front. Kudos to Coast hockey.!