Balancing hockey, academics, and being a Female Sports Representative


It is game day! Everyone on the team is pumped and ready to take on our rivals. All eyes are focused on the white ball. The shrill sound of the kick off whistle and the ball is dribbled from one player to another in a vicious bid to score.

 “Sudi! Sudi! Hapa! Hapa!…” 

The clock ticking away, the pace of the game increases, the adrenaline high as the game gets more physical with each team scrambling to score a goal or more.

“Low body position! Come on!..” Coach Meshack is heard shouting from the bench.

While on the pitch, there’s a lot to keep your eyes on. If not the ball, which could be moving at a maddening speed, it is the hockey stick swing that might just strike you. If not the stick striking, it is your teammates and opponents while they advance towards the ball.  If not the players, it’s the goal post. “ Eyes on the prize!” Even then, sometimes the ability to focus is not always easy; the jeers, taunts and boos from spectators can become deafening that it may seem quite impossible to ignore. Just like horses, we fit ourselves with blinders and only focus on winning. Focused on what is ahead, rather than what is on the side or behind.

My hockey journey

I started off my hockey career/journey while I was in high school at Karima Girls High School. I played in the forward and defense positions. We used to play against Kerugoya Girls, Alliance Girls, and Bishop Gatimu, just to mention a few. Kerugoya Girls in particular gave us a run for our money! However, in almost all the games we played, I managed to score one for the team. Such a proud moment!

After completing my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2019, I joined Strathmore University and pursued a Certificate in Culinary arts. While at it, often, I would tag along to see the Hockey players practice and also cheer them during Leagues. Making these spontaneous appearances gave me the impetus to join the team and grow my interest and skill. I landed a slot in the trials to be part of the Strathmore Ladies Hockey team (Scorpions). I was fortunate enough to be accepted and granted a scholarship to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Hotel Management (BHM).

Scorpions that sting

Michael Jordan once said that “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” Our strong bond as a team has been built and is continuously strengthened with every practice and game, with every sweat and tear, with every win and loss.

There are many moments that have made my hockey journey. But being crowned the 2022 Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Women’s Premier League champions, unbeaten, tops the list, as we were the first University to have won the women’s title. By virtue of winning the league title, we qualified as Kenya’s representatives for the 2023 Africa Cup for Club Champions. It was an amazing opportunity to play against international teams. Although we lost in some of the games, it was a great learning experience.  I am grateful for a supportive and amazing coach, Mr. Messachak Senge. He has not only taught me the game but has also taught me priceless life values such as: sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership, discipline, time management, and much more. Playing hockey has helped build and define my character.

Life on campus and the balance

Playing hockey for Strathmore University is a dream come true. I get to spend my days on the field training and learning new techniques with the team, traveling on weekends to participate in sporting events or matches across the country. This means I sometimes miss classes or skip practices on some days. A typical day as a Strathlete features a morning workout routine, quick dash to class, catching up with assignments, evening practice, and heading back home to catch up with more assignments. Phew! Or the moments you sit through a CAT you didn’t adequately prepare for. Not to mention the conflicting priorities when one is hit with the pressure of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

Besides playing hockey, I love to cook. (And to eat, of course!) Studying Hospitality and Hotel Management has equipped me with vast knowledge in business and hotel operations and management. My career goal of becoming an entrepreneur has been built on a foundation that includes tangible in-demand skills in marketing, finance, and budgeting as well as a nurtured spirit of service, teamwork, leadership and critical thinking  . Hopefully, one day I will be able to build and own a luxurious hotel.

I also serve as the 14th Student Council Female Sports representative. This is a  role that tasks one to promote sports and physical fitness in the university and empower Stratletes in their pursuit of excellence.

Having a busy schedule, juggling school work, extracurricular activities, and pursuing other interests has taught me discipline and time management. Finding the right balance is crucial in becoming successful in both the classroom and sporting field.


Venessa Sudi is a 4th year Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Hotel Management student. She is currently the 14th Student Council Female Sports Executive. 


This article was written by Jemmy Kamau.

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