Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

The Roots of Hockey in Africa

The roots of hockey are deeply rooted in Africa's ancient Ethiopian sport Genna.

African hockey history shows that Genna was played in ancient Ethiopia 1,000 years BC and is still played today. Although both Genna and hockey involve the use of sticks and balls, they have distinct differences in terms of gameplay and rules.

Genna, or Ethiopian Christmas or Lidet, is a traditional holiday celebrated in Ethiopia. Also, Genna is a game primarily played during the Ethiopian Christmas season as a recreational and social activity. It is typically played outdoors on open fields or streets. 

The objective of Genna is to score goals by hitting a small ball into the opposing team's goal using a curved wooden stick called a gomela. The game is often played casually and informally, with varying rules and adaptations depending on the specific location and players involved.
African Hockey teams Ghana and Kenya
African Hockey teams Ghana and Kenya

The Roots of Hockey in Africa

African Hockey Federation (AfHF) is the central governing body of field hockey in Africa. The African Hockey Federation is located on Townsend Road in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Bulawayo has long been known as the industrial hub of Zimbabwe and the multimillion-dollar sports complex. 

Khumalo was opened on September 13, 1995, and built by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Public Works, who in turn handed the administration over to the Sport and Recreation Commission to manage on behalf of the Zimbabwe Government. Seif Ahmed is the current President of the African Hockey Federation; Vice Presidents are Nii Quaye-Kumah and Ginny Ross,

The African Hockey Championships is the African continent's main tournament, organized by the African Hockey Federation, with a history dating back to 1974; winning teams are guaranteed a place at the next Hockey World Cup or Olympics.  However, South Africa won the continental qualifier; however, the team did not participate in the 2016 Olympics. 

South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and South African Hockey Association (SAHA) agreed on the Rio 2016 Olympics qualification criteria that the Continental Qualification route would not be considered. As a result, New Zealand, as the highest-ranked team from the 2014-15 Hockey World League Semifinals not already qualified, participated instead.

Field hockey at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro occurred from August 6th to 19th at the Olympic Hockey Centre in Deodoro. Twenty-four teams, twelve each for men and women, competed in the Field hockey tournament.  

Ghana women’s team hoped to qualify for the 216 Rio games with the backing of The Fédération Internationale de Hockey or International Hockey Federation, commonly known as FIH. The women's senior national hockey team was been training at the Theodosia Okoh National Hockey Stadium in Ghana's capital Accra.

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