A weekend expected to be full of color, goals, and prizes was marred by the nightmare of rains and the forever shame of a flooded pitch.
The KHU 2019 hockey league is at its climax, but the weather has taken a turn for the worse. Rains have hit the country and affected activities in all places including Nairobi, the center for the only national hockey stadium. The expected reaction would be that arrangements to facilitate the efficient completion of the league would be in place.
In its typical fashion, the union has remained unresponsive to the implications of the weather. All matches remain as scheduled in the fixtures, as have all other activities that take place in the stadium. Most critically, however, is the lack of evidence of physical transformation to the area. The roof to the main fans’ terraces still remains torn and leaky, incapable of stemming even a brief drizzle. The trench outside intended to stem external water flow into the stadium is overgrown with grass and ineffective.
Such was the state over the weekend when floodwater charged from outside, through the doors, and into the changing rooms. Mixing with sewer content, the flow continued onto the already flooded turf. Images of players trudging through the water as others exclaimed in disgust traversed the local social media.
Admittedly, the players in this country have got used to coping with the flooded pitch. However, this uncontrollable flow was new and evidence of a pattern of neglect. “It is too much! It is unhygienic and unsafe! We bring children here,” one of the fans lamented on Saturday night.
Judging when people have had enough, objectively, is difficult. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that things are getting worse, not better. While only jokingly, hockey players on social media have expressed the sentiments that, perhaps, it is time to invest in swimming careers. Truly, their expectations that the Union will reform are minimal.
The future of the sport in the country looks bleak- if even basic and obvious functions remain unaddressed. It was a shame, indeed, and will continue to be as long as the prevailing conditions persist.
Not the best way to begin your week. But then again, it was barely any way to end the previous one. This is a serious call! Someone needs to listen!
Have a hardworking one. Make it your purpose to do what you are supposed to do.