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Hockey: High hopes but poor pockets
Hockey: High hopes but poor pockets
POISED: Men's Hockey National team in action

Sports

High hopes but Poor Pockets

Although the path ahead is riddled with Pula-sized potholes, Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) have laid out their roadmap and are optimistic league action will start by the end of the month.

Speaking to Voice Sport this week, BHA President, Unaswi Matebu revealed preparations are at an advanced stage, with their development plan for the financial year 2022-23 firmly in place.

BIG PLANS: Matebu

“We have already started implementing it. We have set out our roadmap and it is ready. However, we are being restricted by finances here and there but we are working on ways to push through with our plans to resuscitate the sport while we wait for our grant from Botswana National Sports Committee,” declared the hockey head.

As they build towards a return to league action, BHA held a mini-tournament in April, which Matebu explained was to test the players’ mental and physical state after a prolonged period on the sidelines.

Happy with the results, it is now full steam ahead, with the league pencilled for the end of May until November.

“We have also planned clubs and schools’ team’s tournaments for both indoor hockey and hockey 5s till March 2023,” continued Matebu, ruefully noting the sport was slowly gaining popularity locally when Covid-19 came crashing in and ruined the momentum.

“Due to Covid-19 setbacks, BHA is planning to strengthen the existing clubs and school teams before we focus on expanding our base. We now have a total of seven active clubs and another one which is not so active, two dormant clubs and one new club,” she disclosed.

Turning her attention to the national teams, Matebu said both the men’s and women’s sides were training every Saturday.

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“We have scheduled a training camp in June. The team will have friendly matches and test series with neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia as we prepare for the upcoming Africa Indoor and Hockey 5s which we hope to excel at.”

‘Excelling’ is quite an ambitious objective considering the hidings Botswana received at the previous African Indoor Cup in April last year. Both the men’s and women’s teams failed to register a single goal, with Namibia and South Africa running riot, drumming up a combined scoreline that read 62-0 for the women and 73-0 for the men – it will take a lot of Pula to fill those holes!

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