Kenyanstar Of The Week - Pauline Naise

Pauline Naise

Pauline Naise belongs to a different class, a rare one, with a few names ahead of her. A class of Kenyan stars who have represented the country at International level  in two(or more) different sports, and have excelled at it. The likes J.J Masiga for Rugby and Football,  Aasif Karim for Tennis and Cricket, Carl Tundo for Motorsport and Golf and Collins Omae for Rugby and Athletics. 

Pauline is a Hockey star! and thanks to her exploits with the Harambee starlets and Vihiga leeds in 2016, most of us now know she is also a football star. Currently playing for Chase Bank Hockey team, Pauline is our Kenyan Star of the week and spoke to us on her life and sports career.

KS: Thank you for agreeing to speak to us Super Star, you are our Kenyanstar of the week.... 

I'm not a super star! will hopefully get there sometime soon but i appreciate that you acknowledge my efforts. 

KS: So what's your story? Hockey, Football, What else? 

Mine is a story of chance, some luck and a lot of hard work. For both Football and Hockey... 

KS: Chance and luck? How so? 

Because before my Starlets call up few people knew me as footballer, most knew me as a hockey player but in actual sense Football was my first love. In high school at St. Cecilia Misikhu I played football in form one and two, In those two years i wouldn't move near the hockey pitch, I considered hockey a very dangerous game.     

KS: So how did you start and became so good at this dangerous game? 

 I had a small miss-understanding with the football coach at school so i got suspended from the team. I needed a place to keep exercising and in that moment the Hockey team gave me the opportunity. It was to be for a short time while i served my suspension from the football team but i gradually developed an interest in hockey and learnt it by watching others play. No one ever pushed me like you would expect it since even the hockey coach did not consider me part of the team. I believe this made learning much easier and faster, the fact that it was my own interest and drive. 

KS: How has the journey been since then? 

 Things moved really first and in 2008 while in form three i was included in the hockey school team for an annual tournament at St. Anthony's Kitale Day High School. I was the top scorer in this tournament actually for doing nothing but just waiting in the 'D' and flicking the ball, but that was the turning point and i never looked back. I played lots of tournaments since then and in most of them i would emerge either the top scorer or be voted the most valuable player. That same year we went all the way to the Nationals of the school games but unfortunately lost in the semi-finals to Lwak girls high school but it pretty much summed up my first year and foundation in Hockey. 

KS: After High School? 

My post high school hockey was probably determined in my first year of playing hockey because when we went for the annual Nabongolo tournament at St. Anthony's Kitale day high school, USIU was one of the teams at the tournament. They were impressed with my play and offered me a sports scholarship so immediately I completed my high school I joined USIU in 2010 for schooling and playing Hockey. I Played for USIU until 2015 when i joined strathmore. I'm currently playing for Chase Bank.  I have represented the country several times including captaining the Under 21 team. 

KS: Any Humbling moments you've had in Hockey?  

Yes quite a number but particularly when I made my Kenya senior team debut in 2011 and we went to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe for a continental tournament. I was the youngest player in the team and in the entire tournament I scored only one goal because of course there were better players in the team, the likes of Jackie Mwangi and the rest. This tournament was an eye opener because i realized i didn't know everything and there was so much I still needed to learn. So i developed a habit to always arrive early at the training ground and do something extra and I kept pushing myself.        

KS: Pretty much looks like football was dead and buried ... 

Not at all. My suspension from the football team back at school was temporary but by the time i got back to the team I had already developed an interest in Hockey and even made it to the school team so then I kept playing both games. However our football team was not as strong so we could get eliminated at very early stages of the competitions so i got more exposure in Hockey.

KS: Did you play football in college? 

For some time no I didn't play especially because back then USIU didn't have a serious ladies football team. But then I started craving football so once or twice a week I could train with the men's team just for fun and make sure I still had the touch. 

KS: How did Vihiga leeds happen? 

This is another story of chance, I fractured my left arm in 2015 so I was set to miss an entire season of the 2016 hockey league because it would take some time after recovery to get back to the top. I moved to my rural home in Kakamega for rehabilitation so this one day I'm jogging in Sigalagala and I spot a group of ladies training for football. One of them happens to be a friend I had not seen for a long time and she convinced me to join the team. I decided to give it a try and she introduced me to the coach, Kenneth Bramley. Initially the coach didn't see much of a footballer in me because of my small body, and I had a pony tail and make up. It wasn't an image anyone would have for a footballer but i would go on and train with the team anyway. 

KS: How difficult was it to get into the starting team seeing that you were now up against 'professional' footballers? 

It seemed an impossibility until we went to this tournament to honor a former Leeds United player. We were trailing in the finals and I scored a hat trick to help us win 3-1 and just like that I got into the starting team for future games. I went on to feature regularly for leeds united and we finished 5th in the FKF women league.   

KS: Harambee Starlets? 

I was in the leeds united team that played Nyamira starlets in a league match at the Mumias Sports Complex. We won 3-0 courtesy of my hat trick. Kariobangi sharks players and technical team were also at the stadium. I think they were scheduled to play a match at the same stadium later in the evening on that day. So after the match a few of them walked up to me and congratulated me for a good game. They told me I had great talent and potential and should I keep working hard I might just make the cut for the National team. At that time the National team were out of the Country for CECAFA. Two weeks later when they got back, I received a call from the federation inviting me to join the Starlets camp. It was unbelievable! 

Pauline Naise trains at the Kasarani stadium with the Harambee Starlets
Pauline Naise trains at the Kasarani stadium with the Harambee Starlets

KS: Your best moments in Football so far?       

I would say my hat trick in the match against Nyamira Starlets. 

KS: How about in Hockey? 

When i was the top scorer at the World league 1 with 13 goals. I think this was my best tournament. I felt i was at my peak and really matured. 

KS: Which people would you say have influenced your career so far? 

A number of people, my coaches Mr. Kayieko and Mr. Kimanzi. They have had a great influence on my hockey career and both have really pushed me at different stages of my career. 

KS: Who is the greatest player you have played alongside and or against in both football and Hockey? 

 I wouldn't say played with or against but when i grow up i want to be like Naomi Van Ness of Holland. She is my all time favorite. Her skill, speed, reasoning and trickery, they are just top notch. 

KS: Which Sports Icon in the world do you look upto? 

Brazil's Ronaldinho Gaucho. His trickery and entertainment is out of this world. I would love to be able to entertain like that. 

KS: What is your role at Oshwal Academy? 

I'm a sports teacher at Oswal. I'm also the football coach and hockey coach at the school. 

KS: Isn't it too early to get into coaching? 

Incidentally coaching helps me improve a lot on my own game as a player both in hockey and football. 

KS: How do you manage to keep up? Coaching both games, playing both games, schooling ...

Yes, it's not easy. It needs a lot of self discipline dedication and hard work. I wake up every day at 4am and i won't go to bed until 10pm. I work with a tight schedule, disciplined planning with constant reviews to ensure a balance in all the activities I'm involved in. 

KS: You intend to continue pursuing both sports? 

At the moment yes. At least my 2017 schedule accommodates both sports but I know sooner or later I will have to choose one.

KS: Which sport would you favour if you have to make a choice? 

Football

KS: Any chance of going pro in either sports?   

I have previously had a chance to go play hockey in Germany but my application for a VISA was rejected. I think it was a communications problem because I do not understand Germany and I might have answered some questions in a way I shouldn't have. But I believe another chance will come by. In football while at the AWCON I was invited to go for trials in Florence. Plans haven't been finalized but I'll probably make the trip sometime this year. But you realize this are only trials, the reason I haven't spoken about it before is so it shouldn't be interpreted to mean I'm making a move.  

KS: How do you think Kenya rates against competition in Hockey?   

Well the rankings are out there for everyone to see but i think despite the challenges we are facing in the country we can still compete effectively at the continental level. We might not be the best but we can definitely stand up against the best.  At the world level, I think we need to do much more for us to be able to compete. 

KS: What is this much more we need to do? 

There is urgent need to invest in Infrastructure. We have one standard pitch being shared by all hockey teams in the country. We compete with countries whose individual hockey teams and even schools each have their own pitch. We need to invest more in hockey academies so that our players can start playing hockey as early as at 6/7 years old. At this point i would love to recognize efforts by Wazalendo Hockey Club, they are ahead of the pack in terms of youth development but the entire industry needs to join in. Finally we also need to have more corporate sponsorships to support the game. 

KS: Would you say sports pay?

Not as it should in Kenya. I know for both Hockey and Football the only time you are going to get paid is when you are with the national team. Otherwise all these other times it's purely playing for passion. Maybe a few institutional clubs like Telkom and Chase bank would pay but how about the rest? 

KS: What is your parting shot to your fans and readers of Kenyanstar? 

I want to encourage everyone, especially those in sports to  do what they love and  to do it effectively. And that they are the masters of their destiny. They should not let dream killers distract them from reaching out for their dreams.  

 

 

Menengai Cream Homeboyz and KCB secured home semifinal qualification at the close of the Kenya Cup’s league phase on Saturday 25 March 2017.

Kenya has improved tremendously in the past year posting positive results that has seen them rise in rankings into the top 90 in the World.

Serial satellite tour winner Matt Wallace will look to continue the habit tomorrow on the European Challenge Tour as he takes a one-shot lead into the final round of the Barclays Kenya Open after an impressive Moving Day at Muthaiga Golf Club.

The Englishman was four shots behind overnight leader Adrien Saddier but his four under par third round of 67 took him to 12 under par, with Saddier and Aaron Rai his closest rivals.

The 26 year old was unstoppable on the Alps Tour last year, winning on five successive appearances before sealing a dominant top spot in the Order of Merit by also triumphing at the Grand Final.

Top ten finishes on the Challenge Tour in Spain and Italy last season also suggested he was ready to compete at this level and he was understandably delighted with his day’s work in Nairobi as he goes in search of the biggest victory of his young career.

“I played really nicely today,” he said. “Not actually as well as the last two days, but I gave myself a lot of chances today and managed to get through a scruffy patch in the middle and finish nicely again.

“I birdied the last two holes and did the same yesterday – I had a really nice yardage into 17 and decided to really attack it and stuffed it in there really close and 18 is always a really good birdie chance.

“I really approached today the same as all week, I was obviously four shots behind Adrien so I was trying to shoot as low as I could and post a good score, but I didn’t think I’d be leading – I’m there though and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

“I’m hoping to learn from this experience because this is definitely the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of, especially the last few holes there, with a lot of people coming down. They really appreciate the good shots so hopefully I can give them something to cheer again tomorrow.

“I’ve got a local caddie on the bag this week who’s been doing the job here for 26 years – as long as I’ve been living! I talk to him a lot because I find if I go quiet I lose confidence.

“He’s been very good so far because obviously he knows the course very, very well – there’s been a few club decisions where I’ve gone ‘really?’ and it’s turned out perfect, so he knows his stuff and he knows my game well, given we’ve only been together for three or four days.

“Last year’s success was massive for me. I try to dumb it down as much as possible and say it’s just golf, and it is, but hopefully I can take the performances from last year into tomorrow.

“Jordan Smith showed last year how possible it is to move quickly to the top of the Challenge Tour from the satellite tours. I play with guys on the European Tour, Callum Shinkwin in particular, a lot and I think if I can compete with him, I know I can do it out here too.”

Three bogeys on the front nine cost France’s Saddier his lead while Englishman Rai birdied three of his final four holes for a round of 69 and a share of second place.

Welshman Rhys Davies, four times a winner on the Challenge Tour, momentarily topped the leaderboard before a scrappy back nine left him one shot further back on ten under par.

Also well within striking distance going into the final day are South Africans Jaco Ahlers and Louis De Jager and Sweden’s Jens Dantorp, all of whom share fifth place on nine under par, just three behind Wallace.

Source -- European Tour

Lots of matches for World Cup qualifiers today. We have some betting tips for you

The Hockey and Rugby teams of Upper Hill School have registered positive results as this year's Nairobi region Term One A School games got underway at State House Girls and Nairobi School.

Upper Hill won 2-0 against Nairobi School in boys' Hockey and humiliated Jamhuri School 31-0 in Boys' Rugby.

But while Nairobi school salvaged their day beating Aquinas 38-0 in Rugby, Jamhuri's bad day continued suffering yet another humiliating 34-3 defeat against Muhuri Muvhiri  in Boys' Rugby.

In Other results Parklands Arya won 2-0 against Hillcrest in Girls Hockey and proceeded to 3-0 against Kianda while still in boys' Hockey, Starehe won 2-1 against Makongeni.

The games will continue on Sunday the 26th with the regional winners proceeding to the finals to be played in April. 

National Hockey Champions Friends School Kamusinga from Bungoma County were eliminated from this year's competition after a 1-0 loss to Kakamega County's Musingu High School in the finals of the Western region Term one A school Games. Musingu will now represent the region at the Nationals to be played in April.

In basketball Boys finals, Busia County's Sigalame High School white washed Vihiga's Chavakali 107-34 to seal to book a ticket for the finals. The games were played at St. Peters High School in Mumias. 

The Western Region will be represented at the finals by the following schools;

Hockey

Musingu High School - Boys 

Misikhu High School - Girls 

BasketBall 

Sigalame High School - Boys

Tigoi High School - Gils 

 

Good news for the Blues! Eden Hazard is reportedly set to return to training next week as he continues his recovery from a calf injury.

Liverpool will welcome back Steven Gerrard this Saturday as the adored son of the Kop makes a return to his boyhood Club.

Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart has spoken about his life at Italian side Torino and where he wants to be next.

Aussie gun Daniel Ricciardo has crashed out during qualifying for the Melbourne Grand Prix.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel beat his own lap record at Albert Park as he topped the time-sheet in the final free practice before the Australian Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday.

The four-times champion Germans lap of one minute 23.380 seconds eclipsed his pole record of 1:23.529 set at the lakeside circuit in 2011, and was nearly half a second faster than both the Mercedes cars.

New Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who replaced retired champion Nico Rosberg, was second fastest, just edging three-times champion teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, with Nico Hulkenberg fifth in his Renault.

Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest, with his teammate Max Verstappen 12th.

Williams rookie driver Lance Stroll skidded into a barrier and blew a tyre, causing the red flag to be raised with 10 minutes left in the session.

The session was then called off, leaving constructors champions Mercedes unable to improve upon their times and adding spice to the qualifying session later on Saturday.

Hamilton was fastest in both practice sessions on Friday.

Ireland and Everton defender Seamus Coleman faces up to a year on the sidelines after breaking his leg during a World Cup qualifier against Wales.

The ever-present risk of serious leg injuries in football was unfortunately realised once again as Wales’ Neil Taylor was shown a red card for a poor tackle during the 0-0 draw.

Once he realised what had happened, Coleman held onto his damaged leg while waiting for help.

Coleman was given oxygen on the field as medical staff attempted to immobilise his leg before taking to and ambulance and then hospital.

The final score took a back seat to Coleman’s well-being  after the match.

“It’s a bad break. Seamus is a fantastic player and character - it’s a major blow for the lad, for his club and for us,’’ Ireland manager Martin O’Neill told the UK’s Sky Sports.

“Apparently it wasn’t the best challenge in the world - I haven’t seen it back - but naturally disappointed. He’s gone to hospital and I think it’s broken.

“I saw Seamus’ reaction - he was holding his leg up and it didn’t look good.”

The length of Taylor’s suspension is yet to the decided but one this is for sure – Coleman is facing a lengthy stint of rehab before his professional career resumes.

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SNCF will advise the French Rugby Federation (FFR) on transport and sustainable mobility options, and support the implementation of a ticketing strategy for the World Cup.

The company will also provide logistical support to the FFR during different stages of the application process while promoting the bid both nationally and internationally.

Deloitte’s French division will work with the FFR on drafting budgets and financing plans for the event.

FFR president Bernard Laporte said: “(We are) very pleased to be able to count on the expertise of these two companies with world-renowned know-how to help us in our application. This support again illustrates the strong mobilisation of the economic world behind #France2023.”

France faces competition from Ireland and South Africa in its bid to stage the 2023 World Cup. The World Rugby Council will select the winning bid on November 15.