Hockey teams in Nairobi will have a different experience moving forward after a new Artificial turf pitch was unveiled at the 90-year-old Sikh Union Club (Simba Union Club) on Friday.
The new structure, which was unveiled on Friday by the club's officials among them Kenyan hockey legend Avtar Singh Sohal, has been named Dashmesh Hockey Stadium.
It cost close to Sh50 million and the officials said they are not done yet as they intend to carry-out more improvement on it, which include building stands for spectators.
The now Dashmesh Hockey Stadium was established at around 1935 where several top hockey players among them legend Sohal - a four-time Olympian - were nurtured.
Simba Union is the first club in Kenya to upgrade their hockey pitch with an Astroturf and the club’s Trustee, Manminder Singh Jandu, termed the development a "milestone achievement."
He said it is the first step towards restoring the club's and Kenya's lost glory in the game of hockey, as it will go a long way in developing future players.
"The game of hockey keeps improving and this is one of the way of promoting Kenyan hockey to world class level where it was before," said Jandu, adding they intend to work with county governments to improve on hockey facilities countrywide.
To maximise on the use of the stadium, the club has since established an academy, where young players will see their skills horned, before joining different clubs, which may also land them a place in the national team.
According to the officials, local clubs playing in different leagues and learning institutions will be allowed to hosts matches at the stadium, but at a fee yet to be agreed on.
Sikh Union Club has moved to announce the installation of the Astroturf with a hockey tournament involving clubs from Kenya, Tanzania and India.
The weeklong event dubbed Astroturf Launch Tournament will involve both men’s and women’s categories starting on Sunday.
Plans are underway to make it an annual tournament.