Khumalo Stadium hosts national team selection tourney

Sibhekisipho Fayayo
Bulawayoa��s Khumalo Hockey Stadium is set to host the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) cup which will be used to select and prepare the national teams for the 2015 African Olympic qualifiers.
The HAZ two-day tournament for senior men and women national teams will be in Bulawayo on September 26-27 and will feature 12 provincial teams.

The move came amid HAZa��s reconsideration to send teams to participate in the African Olympics qualifiers after they were shifted from Egypt to South Africa.

African Hockey Federation moved the qualifiers, initially scheduled for Ismailia in Egypt to the Randburg Hockey Stadium in Johannesburg and will be held from October 24 to November 1.

a�?The HAZ Cup on September 26-27 at Khumalo Hockey Stadium will be used as part of the preparations for the AOQs (Olympic African Qualifiers) and coaches will have to choose various training grounds for selection of the teams,a�? HAZ vice-president Humphrey Chigwedere said.

Harare, Bulawayo and Masvingo will each provide two teams for the HAZ Cup with Midlands and Mashonaland West each providing one team in the mena��s section team.

The womena��s category will only have four teams with two from Harare while Bulawayo and Masvingo will only provide one team each. Team selectors for the men are Colin Williams, Tongai Mukwewa, Keith Kachambwa and Eddie Chiringa who is also in the womena��s selector together with Nicola Watson, Tendayi Maredza and Sarah Bennett.

a�?HAZ has decided to take part (in Olympic Qualifiers) given the relatively lower costs involved in travelling to South Africa to take part in the quadrennial premier tournament. The players need this exposure for us to remain competitive internationally since we struggle to raise enough funds to enable our players to travel frequently,a�? he said.

Zimbabwe hosted the last edition of these qualifiers in 2011 at the Khumalo Hockey Stadium and we finished fourth behind the traditional giants, Egypt South Africa and Ghana.