The African clubs hockey championship which will be hosted by Ghana from April 23 to 30 this year would revolutionise hockey in the country by creating awareness about the thrills and spills of the game. Mr Oko Nikoi Dzani, chairman of the Ghana Hockey Association (GHA) said the tournament would provide Ghanaians the opportunity to witness top-level performance from the best players on the continent and whip up enthusiasm, which would engender mass participation in the sport.
He said hockey could provide its followers a lot of fun and respite and called on Ghanaians to patronise the tournament in order to make it a big success. On preparations towards the tournament, the chairman said Vector Development, a contracting firm, is undertaking renovation work at the National Hockey Pitch to update facilities and give it an international outlook.
He said the company would provide three new water closet toilets, changing and shower rooms, a kitchen, a bar and stands for spectators. Mr Dzani said the GHA is enjoying a lot of goodwill from the government and other corporate bodies, adding that the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has taken over the responsibility to upgrade the Car Park as its contribution towards the championship.
He praised the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) the Bank of Ghana and Ghana National Fire Service for their support and called on other business entities to emulate them. At the National Hockey pitch, Mr Fred Amewode, site foreman of the contractors told the GNA Sports that work was progressing on schedule and would be completed early enough for the championship.
He said Vector Development has been given three weeks to finish their part of the contract and was optimistic that they would wind up by the April 18. Meanwhile Ghanaian teams participating in the tournament have intensified their training with the hope of being crowned African champions. Mr Emmanuel Ahadzi, coach of Fire Ladies who are one of Ghana's representatives in the female category said he has watched clips of their opponents and he is mapping out strategies to outwit them during the competition.
He said his players are very well conditioned and their aggressive play gives them an edge even against their more experienced opponents from Egypt and Kenya. Mr Ahadzi said he has decided to drill his squad on set pieces, particularly short corners since his players are swift on take off and would earn many of such chances. He asked Ghanaians to troop to the pitch to cheer them to victory because "that will be the only advantage we can enjoy for playing at home."