WELCOME TO WAZALENDO’S YOUNG PLAYERS DEVELOPMENT (YPD) PROGRAM
Since its establishment in 1995, Wazalendo Hockey club has always focused on the development of young players in the sport. The identification, mentoring and provision of opportunity to young talented players is the core of the vision of the club as espoused by the founder chairman Mr. Edwin Were. At inception, Wazalendo recruited players from Jamhuri High School to make up the team and to date Moses Kagochi is the remaining member of that crop of players. The others included Moses Kamau, Julius Njeru etc who have since retired from active hockey.
In subsequent years Wazalendo established a nursery of players from schools such as Alliance, Kamusinga, Nairobi School and Lenana to name but a few through annual hockey clinics it held in these schools. This practice would later be extended to the universities and subsequently included annual tournaments where such talents would be tested.
The tide however changed when the universities started appreciating the sport and hence begun mobilizing their teams to take active involvement in the leagues. This prompted Wazalendo to change its YPD Strategy to focus more on pre-secondary school players hence the re-launch in the year 2011.
As a self-supporting club, Wazalendo hockey club welcomes sponsors interested in partnering with the club to enhance the development of young players for the benefit of the sport in Kenya.
The vision of the Young Players’ Development (YPD) program at Wazalendo hockey club is to recruit, nurture and develop young players with the right attitude for success both in the sport and in life.
The YPD program encompasses recruitment, introduction to the sport, training on game skills & playing culture, sportsmanship attitude, competition attitude, personal responsibility as well as mentoring on general aspects of life.
The age group for this program is between 10 years old to 20 years old, however there are exceptions in cases of players older than this group who are still learning the sport.
The YPD Success Story
The following are some of the players who exemplify the success of the Wazalendo Young Players Development Program in the recent years as they continue to shine for both the club as well as in other teams where they play from time to time.
1. Stanley Chege (DOB: 29th February 1992)
He began playing hockey in early 2003 aged 11 years, having been lured by watching the training sessions of the club at Highway Secondary School where he resides.
He mastered the game so fast to the point of being snapped up by Musingu High School of Western Kenya on partial scholarship for his secondary education immediately after completing his primary education. He was the captain of the hockey team at Musingu High School during his senior years. He has since completed his secondary education and is back at the club as he prepares for tertiary education.
2. Nelson Shilaku “Franco” (DOB: June 1992)
He began playing hockey in early 2003 aged 11 years, having been lured by watching the training sessions of the club at Highway Secondary School where he resides. He was encouraged by the company of Chege to the pitch and this made the learning process easy for him.
He was quick to master the game and upon completing his primary education, he was quickly taken by Musingu High School on a partial sports scholarship. He has since completed his secondary education with flying colors and he aspires to be an engineer.
3. Festus Ndaiga Kamanja (DOB: 5th September 1990)
After watching his brother Chege play hockey, Festus was also drawn to the hockey pitch in late 2003. At that time he found his brother Chege and their friend Franco had started making a mark for themselves in the pitch and Festus had to fast track his learning in order not to be left behind by his younger colleagues. He reckons that at the time he started playing, he was in class six.
After his primary education, he joined highway secondary school which gave him the opportunity to continue to train and play for Wazalendo Hockey Club.
He has since joined the United States International University (USIU) on a sports scholarship and is currently in his senior years.
4. Joshua Ndungu
Peer pressure could also be of positive influence. Having watched all his friends in the neighbourhood start playing hockey, Joshua could not help but join the bandwagon after Chege, Franco and Kamanja.
He has been a very instrumental member of the Wazalendo hockey club both during his primary school and secondary school days. On completion of Secondary school, he was taken up by USIU on a sports Scholarship to play hockey. He still has a passion for Wazalendo Hockey club which developed him to what he is today. The club expects him back after completing his university education.
5. James Nzyoka
James joined Musingu High School in 2012 on a partial sports scholarship privately arranged by members of Wazalendo Hockey Club. He will be expected to feature for the club during his school holidays.