The biggest challenge for local hockey players is the little number of games they play throughout the year.
Those who manage to be available for the entire six-month league season, and some may not afford to because of commitments elsewhere, are restricted to just 16 games of the standard 70-minutes.
And one would play those in four rounds against the same four opponents.
Filling the gap
To gain more experience, the gap must be filled by participation in friendlies and two-day tournaments, where one would be lucky to play a match of more than 20minutes.
It is because of this that a competition like this weekend’s inaugural Hope for Sport Hockey Academy (HSHA) comes in handy.
Innocent Mbabali, the brain behind the tournament, hopes to have his colleagues from United States International University (USIU) travel from Kenya to take part.
Speaking Kenya, Kampala Hockey Club (KHC) Stallions will ride on the confidence of winning the Allan Bradley Tournament in Kamusinga a fortnight ago.
Mbabali’s former side, Wananchi, will be looking to re-organise early after a disappointing league campaign in 2017 even though they won the Easter and Independence trophies.
Weatherhead will count on their league success for inspiration while Wananchi Ladies will welcome a challenge against USIU after dominating home sides for the last three years.