3 hockey pitches divided over 3 countries, over 550 coaches and kids, a lot of hockey and education. From April to August 2021, there is something big happening in the African hockey world. Hockey Dreams Foundation will organise the very first Hockey Dreams League: a series of competitions simultaneously in the 3 Hockey Dreams Communities in Malawi, Uganda and Zambia. 10 League days will take place in each community, finishing around the Olympic Hockey Finals in August. The entire League is about hockey, sport for development activities and tackling social topics.

The competitions take place in the big cities of Blantyre, Kampala and Lusaka and are organised by the local Hockey Dreams Coaches. The coaches learn to organise a big event together and develop their personal skills. And that’s what Hockey Dreams Foundation is about. In the last 9 years, the foundation has been supporting coaches to create a better future, enabling them to finish their education, develop their skills and abilities through the sport, seek opportunities and life chances, and be a role model. Currently, there are 45 Hockey Dreams Coaches of which 29 follow the Hockey Dreams Academy and are supported in their education. Over the last years, 10 Coaches graduated from the Academy and are making their way through life. The 45 current Coaches together reach over 1250 kids on a weekly basis when running their hockey projects and organised 4 camps in 2020 where more than 600 kids attended.

Each Hockey Dreams Community will have 10 League Days. Together, over 50 Coaches and Umpires organise the Leagues and develop their leadership, administrative and organisational skills. Over 500 kids join in sport and play, and receive meals and drinks during the League days.

“The hockey world should know about our event, because it is the foundation of future hockey as we are dealing with kids who will soon be adults and start playing at a high level. They may help us grow this league by sponsoring us and also spreading it to other countries across Africa. The League is also the perfect opportunity for us as coaches to identify how far our coaching skills and leadership are. Especially after such a crazy year.”

Gift Lombe, Hockey Dreams Coach in Zambia

The League is highly supported by the Hockey Dreams Ambassadors: Maria Verschoor, Bjorn Kellerman, Tristan Algera, Terrance Pieters and Derck de Vilder.

“On the Olympic road to Tokyo, we share the Olympic spirit with coaches and kids in Malawi, Uganda and Zambia.”

Hockey Dreams Ambassadors

Both the Coaches and Kids participate in sport for development sessions: our Coaches identified social topics and organise sessions together with local organisations. The sessions will evolve around teamwork & respect, hygiene & disease prevention, gender equality, education & youth skills and Olympic values.

“The League is about so much more than just a sports league. Through sports and hockey, we as coaches can address different issues like hygiene, gender equality etcetera. We use our function as a hockey coach to be more like a role model for them and teach them about social topics as well. The League is a good way to reach many kids.”

Doreen Asiimwe, Hockey Dreams Coach in Uganda

“This event will help the kids to solve many of the problems they face in their everyday life like diseases and conflict, they will understand the impact of team work and Olympic value in the sport. For these kids, that is extremely important in their personal development.”

Geoffrey Gama, Hockey Dreams Coach in Malawi

For companies, the League is an interesting way of getting involved with Hockey Dreams and their development goals. Companies, clubs, teams or anyone interested can sponsor a team in the League that will be named after them, they can follow their steps through updates and a leaderboard and of course will receive exposure. And the support does not stop there as it also benefits the Hockey Dreams Programme and Coaches beyond the League and the hockey pitch. The money that is raised, will be used for educational and personal development trajectory (f.e. school fees, utilities, computer course etc.), sport for development activities for Coaches and Kids (f.e. hockey camps, coaching courses, equipment etc.), capacity building of the communities (f.e. workshops, knowledge sharing, monitoring etc.) and to enable the start of a new Hockey Dreams Community (f.e. coaching, allowances, local resources etc.). If you are interested to get involved, visit this page or contact Hockey Dreams at partner@hockeydreams.nl.

Preparations for the League are in full swing and the League promises to be a major and educational event. Hockey Dreams Headquarters, Coaches and Communities are very much looking forward to the League. Read more about the event and find all its updates here.