Former Kenyan International Raquel Otieno hopes that her selection in the team that will represent United States of America in this year’s Masters Hockey World Cup will inspire upcoming players back home. Otieno, who holds a dual citizenship, made the squad that will compete in the World Cup which features women over 45 years.
The competition will take place in Cape Town, South Africa from September 19 to 28.
“I hope that as the first Kenyan female hockey player to feature in the Masters Hockey World Cup, young players from Kenya and other underdeveloped nations will be inspired and believe that people who soar are those who refuse to sit back,” said Otieno.
The competition started in 2012 with the aim of retaining former hockey players across the globe in the game.
The event is held after every two years both indoor and outdoor.
Only players who are above 35 years are eligible to compete, but under different age categories.
To qualify for the competition, interested teams submit their application within the set deadline to World Masters Hockey and the International Hockey Federation.
Thereafter, the eligibility of the players are determined by the two organisations.
Hosts South Africa, Ghana and Zimbabwe will be Africa’s only representatives in the event, which has attracted more than 50 countries.
Otieno, who can play both in defence and midfield, missed the 2018 World Cup held in Spain because of a knee injury she suffered in the run up to the competition.Close
Apart from helping US perform better, the 45-year-old said part of her mission at the competition is to promote Kenya’s hockey.
“For me, this is a sports diplomacy mission for the two countries. I will use the platform as a field hockey ambassador for both USA and Kenya,” she said.
Otieno played for Kenya women’s hockey national team between 2001 and 2004.
She featured in the 2003 All African Games in Abuja, Nigeria, and Afro-Asia Games held in India same year.
For club competition, she played for Blazers (formerly Telkom) , Inter-capitale and Blue Eaglets (both disbanded), Mombasa Sports Club and Sliders, before moving to the US in 2007.
She is a coach at the GForce Filed Hockey Club in US and a technical official at the Junior Premier Hockey League and Pan American Hockey Federation.
Back at home, she is the founder of Tunza Sports Academy, a non-profit sports foundation which aims at promoting Kenya’s hockey and boxing.
Read from source Nation