The Sunday Mail
A YOUTH OLYMPIC experience stirred something in Tendai Maredza.
Maredza coached the Zimbabwe junior ladies team at the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympics and reveals that it was during that episode that the idea to set up an academy dawned on him.
In Argentina the respected hockey coach realised that the higher you go the more clearer you see the gaps to fill.
“As I sat there, watching our girls play against some of the best talent in the world, I realised that there was something missing in our approach to the game.
“There is no doubt that we have the talent. However, we don’t have a place that is dedicated to polishing our rough diamonds. Being exposed to the hockey at the Youth Olympics as a coach made me appreciate that there is need for a hockey academy in this country,” said Maredza. who is also the Zimbabwe senior men’s team captain.
Through his Harare based Redz Hockey Academy, which officially lauches today, the 28-year-old coach, hopes to produce some world class players. “Our main goal is to grow the sport of hockey in Zimbabwe through equipping young players with the skills needed to compete at the highest level. The academy, which is open to players aged between 8 and 21, will run throughout the year,” added Maredza who is popularly known as ‘Redz’ in hockey circles.
“We will also have a development programme aimed at popularising hockey in high density areas starting with Highfields where I stay.”
The three time International All Star player notes that kids who play hockey at school walk away from the sport when they get older because it’s “not very attractive” when compared to codes such as cricket and rugby.
“We have a big pool of hockey players especially in schools but we need to nurture and retain the talent. But to do that we need sponsors to come on board and help Zim hockey grow,” said Maredza.