Kenya Hockey Union Men’s premier league side Wazalendo Hockey Club is eager to leave a mark on the continental scene when they take part in the forthcoming Africa Men’s Hockey Club Championship.
The Continental club championship is set to be held in Blantyre, Malawi November 30th – Dec 5th, 2020.
Wazalendo earned the right to feature in the championship after finishing runner up in last year’s men’s premier league season. Butali were crowned champions and will be the second Kenyan outfit at the one-week long tournament.
To fund the trip the team is seeking to raise a total of 7 million shillings.
‘’Our budget is Ksh.7 million that will take care of 40 players and support staff to Blantyre and back for the entire tournament period which is one week and a half but so far we have managed to raise Ksh. 750,000 but with just a month to the tournament we are seeking support from the well-wishers and we have developed a number of platforms where the contribution can be channeled. We have a pay bill number 891300 ACCOUNT NUMBER 40902, contributions can also be made via M-CHANGA ACCOUNT *483*57*40902#’’, Said club official Peter Karanja who spoke to KBC Digital sports.
The team has been carrying out group training in adherence to the covid19 regulations and await clearance to travel from the government.
‘’We have developed a document of training in line with the ministry of Sports protocol and we have presented it to the ministry underlining how we intend to carry out our training regimen, we are waiting for the green light on team training and travel as well. We are working closely with the union who have endorsed the document as well’’, said Peter.
Wazalendo last featured at the continental showpiece in 2007 and emerged from it with crucial lessons which they intend to put to use twelve years later.
‘’The plans were not well done and we arrived at the tournament late and we were subsequently disqualified from the tournament the best we did was have international friendly matches. Because of the lessons learned in 2007 a lot of work has been done in terms of planning, different committees have been formed to make sure that everything goes according to the plan, the only challenge is resource mobilization which we are determined to get around it’’ said peter.
A 25 member squad is expected to leave the country for the games on November 26th with their target being gaining crucial international exposure.
The club recently added four new players to their roster so as to revamp the squad ahead of the grueling continental fixtures.
‘’We have recruited goalkeeper Tony Githeka, midfielders Clifford Omari and Bonface Ndombi and Defender Daniel Obonyo, those are the positions that we needed to beef up and we believe that the players can give the best’’ said club captain Bright Kezengwa who has turned out for the club for 8 years.
Wazalendo Hockey club hasn’t won the league title yet in their 25-year history, finishing second twice.