Hippo Valley men’s hockey team and Sunrise women’s team will represent Zimbabwe at the annual Africa Hockey Federation Africa Cup for club champions in Lusaka, Zambia, starting tomorrow.
The eight-day continental competition, which will be administered by veteran Zimbabwean hockey administrator Ginny Rose, kicks off at the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka tomorrow and will run until next Saturday.
In the men’s section, Hippo Valley will battle it out with defending men’s champions Sharkia of Egypt, Trustees and Exchequers from Ghana, Yobe Desert Rollers from Nigeria, Strathmore University and Police from Kenya, Gentrix from Malawi, Pistons from Tanzania and hosts Lusaka Hockey Club in a two-pool competition.
Hippo Valley is in Pool A with Sharkia, Strathmore University, Exchequers and Gentrix while Pool B has Trustees, Yobe Desert Rollers, Police Lusaka and Pistons.
The women’s competition will be a two-round one pool competition with defending champions Heartlands from Nigeria battling things out with Sunrise and Lusaka Hockey Club.
Sharkia of Egypt are the defending men’s champions with 19 titles to their credit while Heartland Queens of Nigeria are the women’s defending champions with five crowns to their credit.
Hippo Valley coach Tongai Mukweva told NewsDay Sport he was confident his team would do well on their return to the continental championships after missing last year’s edition in Ghana due to financial challenges.
“We are going there expecting to win the tournament although we know that it won’t be easy.
“Obviously we are in a tough group with the defending champions Sharkia, but we don’t fear them and I know the boys will put up a brave fight,” said Mukweva.