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Hockey Procession draws attention in Zimbabwe
25 May 2004
The World Youth Day was celebrated in Zimbabwe on a fine autumn day, with clear blue and sunny skies, and warm weather. In Harare the events were arranged in three age groups, U/14, U/16 and U/18, which attracted teams from across Zimbabwe. In Bulawayo the programme 'Building a new tomorrow' was based around the primary schools, that is U/12. In following the theme, the Bulawayo programme started on Friday 14th May with a series of lectures which were attended by 40 schools coaches. The intention was to provide the theory and during the next day, put it into practice during the day long event.

Friday 14th May
The lectures, held at the Khumalo Hockey Stadium, ran from 4:00pm through to 9:00pm, with a light dinner snack in between and were as follows

  • Umpiring: D Winterboer (FIH Umpire)
  • Sports Psychology: S Rutsate (Lecturer, Sports Science, NUST)
  • Hockey Administration: G Stephens (Current Administrator; use was made of the new FIH Club Administration module)
  • Coaching: T Ndlovu and team (Chairman HAZ Coaches Committee)

Saturday 15th May
A selection of youngsters from a number of schools met at the City Fountain, in Central Park, Bulawayo. There they were introduced to the HAZ Sportsman of the Year (2003) Mr Ryan King, and after a few photo shoots, and under Police Escort, the crowd of youngsters were led by Mr King up the main road at a light jog to the Khumalo Hockey Stadium, about 2km. The Police lights flashed, sirens wailed and traffic had to follow behind the procession, so it certainly drew attention to the event in downtown Bulawayo!
At the stadium teams from a large number of primary schools were gathering. The day was launched by the Matabeleland Hockey President, Mr Noel Samu. The two artificial fields had been divided in half, so that there was a total of four fields, but matches only took place on three fields, whilst the fourth was used for coaching clinics that ran through out the day. Finally as the sun dipped to the west, the tired, but excited youngsters gathered up their belongings and returned home with many calls for the event to continue in the future. A feature was the inclusion of a large number of government schools which rarely get access to the stadium due to costs.
Despite the many problems faced in Zimbabwe, Hockey has started to 'Builda new tomorrow'!

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