THE Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) is on a drive to increase the number of women who participate in the sport.
Harare and Bulawayo are the two main provinces that have very active women’s teams.
“The overall assessment is that the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe has to find a lasting solution to encourage more ladies to take up the sport,” HAZ vice-president Humphrey Chigwedere, said.
“The 2015 Indoor Inter-Provincial Tournament would have been competitive if each of the provinces had brought at least one women’s team.
“After playing for their school teams, the numbers dwindle and this minimises our national team performances as well. Our chances on the international platform are limited.”
HAZ is targeting a number of areas where they can develop the sport which include former group A schools, schools that used to play hockey and still have their facilities.
“In places like Mashonaland West, we are talking to schools like Chinhoyi High as they used to play the sport and have facilities,” said Chigwedere.
“We are targeting places like Bindura and Banket. In Bulawayo there is one active women’s team, BAC, and in Harare there are a number of teams.”
Recently HAZ hosted an indoor inter-provincial tournament in Harare at Sunrise Sports Club.
Masvingo with the bulk of the players coming from Hippo Valley, won the men’s title after beating Harare A 4-2. Joram Gonyora scored two with Tendayi “Redz” Maredza scoring a brace. Harare replied through former Hippo Valley player Paul “Pablo” Dakarai who contributed both goals.
In the all-Harare women’s final, Harare A won the title beating their second-string side on goal difference after playing two games since there was no other province in this category.
In the first match the A side beat the B team 3-0 with all goals coming from Mbare-based Iman Johnson.
In the second encounter the B side got the better of the seniors. They won the game 2-1, thereby losing the title 2-4 on aggregate.
Masvingo women pulled out of the tournament at the last minute.
This year witnessed the coming in of Mashonaland West province which included players from Banket (Zvimba district), Chinhoyi University of Technology and Chegutu.
Mashonaland Central had two Under-16 players from Mazowe High School, some from Bindura University of Science Education, Chipadze High School and Bindura Hockey Club.