New Kenya women’s hockey, Jackline Mwangi is fired up to take the country to higher ground.
Mwangi was named Kenya coach last Saturday by the Kenya Hockey Union, taking over from Tom Olal.
The former international is keen to revive the dwindling standards of the team if their performance at last year’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Africa qualifiers in Cape Town is anything to go by.
The team finished fourth in the five-nation event. Speaking after attending a match pitting her club Blazers, formerly Telkom, against United States International University-Africa at the City Park Stadium, in Nairobi over the weekend, the former prolific striker, who won back-to-back top scorer accolades, said she had no choice but to rise to the occasion.
“It’s a challenge but I have received it with both hands. We have good players but they have to believe in themselves first. We will start by holding open training sessions in the evenings at the City Park Stadium but I’m waiting for the directive from the Union on when to pick a provisional squad.
“I’m indebted to the Union for believing and giving me the chance and I have no choice but to return the favour through improved performance,” said Mwangi, who is also an International Hockey Federation Athletes Committee member.
Mwangi will be assisted by teammates Barbara Simiyu and Glenis Namasake.
Their first assignment will be the North East Region qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations from May 11 to 17 at the Sikh Union Hockey Stadium in Nairobi.