Good support sees success of Telkom Ladies hockey team

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The reigning Kenya women’s hockey champions have stood in national and continental competitions like a colossus, flattening all and sundry in dominant fashion over the past decade.

In fact, the Kenyan hockey queens have been unbeaten since 2014, won the 2017 national title with a 100 per cent record, and have, lost just three times in the last 10 years, an achievement that is a candidate for the Guinness World Records.

If a book is to be written about hockey in Africa and Kenya as well, one name that is sure to dominate the pages would be that of Telkom women’s club.

The team’s achievements over the past two decades have been nothing short of historic, confirming the team as one of the best in the country and also in the continent.

Strathmore University Scorpions was the last team to defeat Telkom, a 1-0 win on April 5, 2014 at the City Park Stadium courtesy of Gilly Okumu’s strike in their league match.

Before that, Telkom’s only other defeat had been inflicted by the students on October 9, 2012 in another 1-0 loss. It was the first in the league since 2008 when the team went down to United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Spartans. But success did not just come overnight for Telkom.

The team was formed in 1989 and was back then known as Posta Kenya. Two years later (in 1991), the team won its first league title, dethroning Inter-Capital, Kenya’s first women’s hockey club.

At the time, the team was made up of the current assistant coach Josephine Ataro who was the goalkeeper, Rose Mbulo, current assistant coach Judy Apiyo, Jackline Atieno, the late Betty Tony and current team manager Jane Nyamogo. According to Apiyo, the continued team’s success is as a result of discipline and support from their sponsors.

“We don’t compromise on discipline and that is why we have achieved much success. The support system we get from Telkom is also impressive because hockey is an expensive sport and they have stood by us all these years,” says Apiyo.

Telkom’s success on the pitch is just an example of how good sponsorship and management can propel a sporting club to success. Coach Jos Openda, who has been at the helm for the last 14 years, admits the hunger to win more medals is still there, and this has resulted in him setting more targets for the team.

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