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NOC-K hands 3 million to Women’s Hockey Team ahead of Paris Olympics

As the countdown to the Paris Olympics continues, the National Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to Kenya’s sporting excellence by extending a 3 Million Kenya Shillings grant to the National Women’s Hockey Team (Blades).

This crucial support from the Olympic Solidarity Fund is designed to fortify the Blades’ preparations for the Continental Olympic Qualifier, a pivotal step on their journey to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

With only 346 days remaining until the grand event, the Blades are gearing up for the Continental Olympic Qualifier, scheduled to take place from October 29th to November 5th in Johannesburg, South Africa, under the banner of the African Hockey Road to Paris initiative. The grant handover ceremony, attended by NOC-K Secretary General Francis Mutuku, NOC-K Executive Member Paul Otula, and Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) officials led by President Nahashon Randiek marks a significant milestone in the team’s pursuit of Olympic qualification.

The grant not only underlines NOC-K’s dedication to empowering Kenya’s athletes but also highlights the strategic collaboration between NOC-K and federations on Olympic Pathway to ensure comprehensive and effective preparations. The funds will be utilized to provide essential training resources, logistical support, and specialized coaching, thereby equipping the team to compete at their best on the international stage.

Francis Mutuku, Secretary General of NOC-K, underscored the importance of meticulous preparation for achieving success at the highest level of sports. “Performance is a direct reflection of the level of preparation. Our vision is for Paris 2024 to embody the culmination of dedicated training, determination, and the pursuit of excellence,” he commented during the grant handover.

The grant selection process is rooted in various criteria, including the team’s performance in previous competitions, Africa ranking, and a thorough technical assessment aligned with the requirements of the Paris Olympics. The Blades’ receiving the grant is a testament to their proven potential and their commitment to raising Kenya’s flag high on the international sporting platform.

In addition to financial support, the Blades will benefit from a comprehensive suite of elite performance resources. These include specialized training in areas such as strength and conditioning, scientific analysis, mental coaching, and media engagement. Such holistic support ensures that the Blades are not only physically prepared but also mentally and emotionally equipped for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Gilly Okumu, Captain of the National Women’s Hockey Team and Member of NOC-K’s Athlete Commission expressed her gratitude for the support received. “The support from NOC-K signifies a crucial step forward in our journey towards Paris 2024. This grant enables us to focus on our training, enhance our skills, and strive for the best possible performance,” she noted.

Meshack Senge, Head Coach of the Women’s Hockey Team, provided insights into the team’s meticulous training regimen. “Our training program is designed to bring out the best in each player. We are committed to channeling this grant effectively to ensure our team’s peak performance during the Continental Olympic Qualifier,” he emphasized.

The women’s hockey competition promises to be fiercely competitive, as only the Gold medalist will secure direct qualification for the Paris Olympics. The second avenue for qualification involves securing a top-three position in either of the two FIH Olympic qualification tournaments scheduled for January-February 2024

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