Girls beat the boys on continental circles
Posted Saturday, December 26 2009 at 20:00
The union has also been poorly managed. A credible youth training programme has been lacking and by the time the union taps into players in tertiary institutions, they are too burnt out and poorly trained to be constructively competitive at the international level, particularly against the big guns from Egypt and South Africa.
Agunda regrets that the KHU taps into the youth when it is often too late to train them into more technically skilled player. She says because few public primary schools have hockey in their academic curriculum, the union has to wait until students advance to secondary school before they can start to identify strong, gifted players.
By this time, the students are often too set in their ways and any flaws in their game can hardly be corrected. But Agunda is happy the university league is thriving once again, and that there are two men’s leagues running concurrently. Mismanagement within the KHU has not helped the game. In September this year, the union suspended its secretary general Peter Kiruma and two members, Avtar Sohal Singh, and Martin Milla, allegedly on grounds of incompetence.
Agunda says they are working on a sustainable marketing strategy that will help the KHU generate more funds because the one-off Sh15,000 paid by each of the 27 clubs to feature in their programmes is woefully inadequate. This comes to a little over Sh400,000 which is barely enough to meet KHU’s administrative cost.
Telkom Kenya is by far KHU’s biggest sponsors, doling out Sh300,000 for the Africa Cup Club Championships. If the union has any inspiring marketing strategies that will help dig them out of a hole, they are not sharing it with anyone.
Agunda says they are still trying to convince more sponsors to take up banners with the promise that the media exposure generated during competition will make it worth their while. Not surprisingly, there are few takers to this hardly original, well-worn approach. But Agunda is not giving up and says the future, in her eyes, is very bright.