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Kenya will host the first edition of the Target Assistance Programme (TAP) East Africa hockey 5-a-side youth tournament between February 15 and 17 at the City Park Stadium.

The event will bring together national teams from Uganda, Tanzania, Seychelles and hosts Kenya.

Kenya Hockey Union secretary general Wycliffe Ongori said the tournament aims at expanding the sport in the East Africa region.

He said the International Hockey Federations was concerned with the growth of the sport in the continent, prompting African Hockey Federation decided to split the region into three (East,West and South).

“There are growing concerns by FIH that the sport has stalled and African Hockey decided that for the sport to continue to grow they should organise mini events and that’s why the East region has decided to stage the 5-a-side event,” said Ongori.

Michael Malungu, who was in charge of the boys’ team during the youth Africa Games in Algeria last year will be the overall team coach of the Kenyan sides.

Ongori at the same time revealed there will be open trials for both the men and women’s national teams starting this weekend as they plan to start training ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifiers set for August 12-18 in South Africa.

“We want to start training early. We know the sport is not drafted in the All Africa Games bonanza set to be held in October in Morocco and therefore the qualifier for hockey Olympics will be staged in South Africa,” noted Ongori.

“We want by the time the event come calling, we are well prepared. Our desire is to see both teams qualify for the Olympics. The executive will hold their first meeting tomorrow at the City Park to brainstorm on the 2019 season among administrative items.”