The National Women’s Hockey team has qualified for the upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022. International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) confirmed this via a letter to NOC-K on Friday 18th February.
The team which recently took part in the African Cup of Nations that were held in Accra, Ghana emerged bronze medalists.
‘Qualification in hockey is based on FIH World Ranking, with the Kenya women’s team ranked 3rd in Africa behind South Africa and Ghana. Kenya now joins their counterparts, Ghana to compete at the Commonwealth Games, the two nations having received reallocation slots that were not taken up by the top internationally ranked teams,’ explained Kenya Hockey Union President, Col (Rtd) Nashon Randiek.
Col (Rtd) Randiek added that, ‘The team has been very disciplined and hard working. This was evident from their results at the recently concluded African Cup despite the challenges we faced, they deserve to represent the country at the Commonwealth Games. For that we are delighted to receive the news that they have indeed qualified, focus now shifts to adequate preparation.’
They become the second Kenya women’s team after Basketball 3×3 to book a ticket to the Games in which Kenya will be appearing for the 17th time.
“We are extremely elated to receive this information today. This comes at a time when the gender mainstreaming conversation is on a high gear in our sports fraternity and we acknowledge it plays a significant role in ensuring we get to where we want in as far as bridging the gender parity gap in sports representation and participation is concerned. More women’s team qualifying will ensure equal gender representation, and as a NOC we’d like to achieve this in every major games,” Francis Mutuku, NOC-K Secretary General.
Other women teams still on the qualification path are beach volleyball who will be heading for their qualifiers from the 25th through the 29th of March in Accra, Ghana. The Rugby 7s Women’s team are also expected to participate in a regional qualifying tournament before 30th April 2022.
Mutuku added that, “Through the collaboration with the Ministry of Sports, we have committed to supporting all teams on the sports program of Birmingham 2022 to qualify. The goal is to ensure we give the best chance to all qualifying Kenyan athletes to represent the country in the quadrennial Games, and this will give us a chance to diversify our medals prospects.”
The hockey program will have 10 men’s and 10 women’s teams contesting on every single day of Birmingham 2022 at the University of Birmingham from the 29th July to 8th August 2022.