Leading up to the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, which takes place on 6 April, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) will spend the upcoming days celebrating hockey’s place in promoting peace and development via a range of projects and initiatives. The stories come from across the five hockey-playing continents, with today’s story coming from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

As hockey in state schools in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, had disappeared, its resurgence was crucial since it had been a popular sport in the second-largest city of the country.

Therefore, Zimbabwe’s Excel Academy embarked on a mission to Bulawayo to revive hockey in state schools, with Hillside Primary being their prime target. The school’s rich history of nurturing provincial and national hockey players made it an ideal candidate for this initiative.

The event which took place on the 24th of November 2023  witnessed an amazing display of enthusiasm and engagement from the children. A staggering 200 eager first-timers participated in the coaching clinic, ranging from 7 to 11 years old. The Academy has extended its gratitude to the local coaches who lent their invaluable support to this program aimed at developing and inspiring the next generation of hockey stars.

This revival effort holds immense significance for Bulawayo, the country’s second-largest city, where hockey has traditionally enjoyed immense popularity.

Cliff Kaseke, the Director of Hockey at Excel Academy and the brainchild behind this initiative, expressed his motivation: “It’s the human spirit that compels us to share this incredible sport with all communities. Witnessing the smiles on these children’s faces and their eagerness for the next session is truly heartwarming.”

The Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) has been actively promoting hockey across the nation. The recent participation of the U21 women’s team in the 2023 FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup held in Chile has fuelled optimism that similar programs can unearth the next generation of talented players.



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