Hockey players bemoan Zambia’s withdrawal
Published On March 19, 2016 » 3033 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Others, Sports
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By GWEN CHIPASULA – HOCKEY players have expressed sadness over Zambia’s withdraw from the 2016 under-21 Africa Hockey Championship scheduled for Namibia this weekend. The men and women’s teams which were supposed to take part in the tournament that started yesterday saw their dreams shattered after the Zambia Hockey Association (ZHA) failed to meet the K300,000 budget for the trip. ZHA only managed to secure K100, 000 which was way below the budget. Last year, the ZHA withdrew from the Africa cup at the last minute owing to failure to raise funds. Men’s team captain, Blessings Lowole said in an interview yesterday that the players felt abandoned by the hockey body, adding that his fellow players were saddened by the turn of events. Lowole who also plays for Lusaka Sharks said the teams were looking forward to representing the country and had been training since January in readiness for the tournament. “The players are heartbroken, especially that this is the second time we are failing to take part in such a big tournament. Everyone would leave behind everything just to come and train here and us not travelling is such a bad thing,” he said. And women’s team captain Eneless Mambwe said that most players are beginning to lose interest in hockey because they feel it will not take them anywhere. Mambwe said the teams were very prepared for the tournament, adding that being disappointed for the second time was not motivating. “In October we could not travel, in December we hosted the tournament and that was the only way we managed to participate but then again, we sacrificed lodging somewhere we were not safe so that we could represent the country. We feel like the higher authorities do not care about our participation,” Mambwe complained. Meanwhile ZHA committee member Patson Kawewe said the association had been approached the Sports Council of Zambia on several occasions to seek aid but did not get a positive response.

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