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.  

 

 

Richard Omwela retained his chairmanship during Kenya Rugby Union elections  held late on Wednesday pipping Sasha Mutai by just two votes.

Shujaa will start their Hong Kong Sevens campaign with a Pool B clash against Canada at 3.18pm East African Time  on Friday 7 April 2017.

They will then complete their pool matches on Saturday 8 April, starting with a fixture against series leaders South Africa at 8.56am and France at 12.34pm respectively.

The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is the seventh round of the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens World Series. Shujaa currently sit 12th on the log with 40 points.

Janet "Shebesh" Okello leads the overall try scoring charts. The Northern Suburbs speedster has scored a series leading 26 tries.

The most eagerly waited match by Kenya as a country;  if Stars could pull a surprise in Lagos then Stars would be near their dream of playing in their first ever World Cup and that would have been France 98.

Kenyan driver Carl Tundo has proved to be a real contender in the race for the African Rally Championship title after he finished third in the Kenya Safari Rally over the weekend in Nairobi.

The Safari rally is the third round on the 2017 ARC calendar. Tundo, who survived a roll in the last stage of the race, came third in his Lancer Evo10.

Tapio Laukannen became the first Finnish to win the 65th edition of the Kenya Safari Rally. He showed earlier intent for victory posting the fastest time on day one.

Another Kenyan Jassi Chatthe, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer, who won the ARC title in 2015, finished sixth over the weekend, to go second with eight points, ten points behind Tundo.

The rest of the registered ARC drivers have not scored any points after three rounds. Ian Duncan and Ammar Slatch settled for second overall, 22 seconds behind the leader.

A total of 44 drivers started the Safari Rally that returns to ARC calendar after a hiatus two years. Safari Rally is one of the most competitive races on the African calendar.

Defending champion Don Smith from Kenya pulled out of the race at the 11th hour in protest claiming unfairness in the starting order. The final start list order released on Thursday had placed the 2016 champion as car number 33 yet the provisional start order had placed him at car number 2.

It means the rally revved off on Friday morning without the African defending champion. Yet, article 45.3 of the rules and regulations, gives the ARC contenders priority on a start order of a continental race.

Valery Bukera of Burundi and last year’s Mountain Gorilla victor was the best-placed foreign driver in 11th place out of the 30 finishers, while South Africa’s Geoff Bell was the best-placed two-wheel-driver in 14th place, driving a Datsun 260Z.

The fifth round of the ARC goes to South Africa for the Sasol Rally next month.

ARC Driver Standing

1. Carl Tundo (Ken): 18 points

2. Jassi Chatthe (Ken): 8 points

Safari Rally results

1. Tapio Laukkanen: 01:54:12

2. Ian Duncan: 01:54:34

3. Carl Tundo: 01:56:18

4. Onkar Rai: 01:57:01

5. Karan Patel: 02:01:13

The figure of Ksh. 600,000 released by Gor Mahia today, as the total gate collections for the Gor Mahia vs Zoo Kericho match in Kisumu are ‘stupid figures’,  Gor Mahia Organizing Secretary Judith Anyango has told Kenyanstar in a long ranging Interview.

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has been ruled out up for to a month with calf injury suffered in loss at West Brom, the scan has revealed.

The International World Games Association (IWGA) has announced that seven International Federations (IFs) have made bids for membership that meet its criteria, with their applications set to be discussed at the SportAccord Convention next month.

The International Basketball Federation (Fiba), International Triathlon Union (ITU), International Wushu Federation (IWUF), International Cycling Union (UCI), Union Internationale Motonautique (International Powerboating Union), International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) and United World Wrestling (UWW) have all applied to become IWGA members.

The federations have been invited to give a final presentation to the IWGA Annual General Meeting at SportAccord Convention on April 3 in Aarhus, Denmark.

The IWGA currently has 37 member federations. For IFs to become a member of the IWGA, membership of SportAccord is a prerequisite. Another requirement is that the sports, or disciplines of sports, proposed by the federations for inclusion in the World Games are not currently on the programme of the Olympic Games.

Wroclaw, Poland will stage the 2017 World Games from July 20-30, following on from the 2013 edition in Cali, Colombia. Birmingham, Alabama will be the first US destination to host the World Games since the inaugural event took place in Santa Clara in 1981 after it was formally awarded rights to the 2021 Games in April 2015.

The World Games - under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) - showcases more than 25 sports, such as squash, karate, sumo and dance sport.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has signalled its opposition to the proposed reforms of the world game outlined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) stating they will “adversely affect” the very nature of the world governing body.

The ICC is set to make a final decision on a new financial and governance structure at a meeting in April after agreeing “in principle” last month to reverse a move to put the boards of India, Australia and England in a dominant position of the game’s administration.

The BCCI, along with Sri Lanka Cricket, voted against the proposal to perform a u-turn on the 2014 decision after failing to defer the vote during February’s ICC board meeting in Dubai. Under the proposed restructuring, a new revenue distribution model would seek to counter the imbalance favouring the so-called big three, with India the most influential voice in the world game.

In a communication of its preliminary observations on the proposed ICC constitution, reported by the ESPNCricinfo website, the BCCI said the changes were “vague” and “unclear”. The status of the reforms package was thrown into question last week by the resignation of Shashank Manohar, who has been driving efforts to limit the influence of the ‘big three’, as chairman of the ICC.

“The proposed ICC constitution seeks to convert the ICC from a members' organisation to a supra-national regulator,” BCCI chief executive Rahul Johri wrote in an email sent to ICC chief operating officer Iain Higgins. “This is a fundamental change in the nature of the ICC that adversely affects the autonomy of its members.

“Further, several of the proposed changes are vague and unclear in their purport and intended operation. Given that one of the stated objectives behind the proposed changes is to bring in clarity and transparency, it is imperative that there is complete clarity on all the proposed changes so that members can properly understand the same before formulating their position thereon.”

Johri also reserved heavy criticism for the new financial model proposed by the ICC, stating it is “arbitrary” and not “agreeable”. Under the current ‘big three’ model, full members receive a contribution cost for participating in ICC events based on their perceived value in the sport. The new model is set to remove these contribution costs and instead introduce a set figure allocated to each of the 10 full members, along with two second-tier associate members - Ireland and Afghanistan.

Johri said, according to ESPNCricinfo: “The ICC is seeking to change the existing financial model without having any scientific formula or technical analysis behind the proposed changes. It is a fundamental attribute of any resource allocation system to first collect information and then allocate resources based on the information, priorities and a defined methodology following appropriate principles. The move to propose changes to the existing financial model without carrying out the aforesaid exercise is an arbitrary one.”

He added: “Any discussion on the proposed new financial model has to be based on clearly articulated and acceptable principles which recognise the relative contribution of BCCI to the revenues of the ICC. For the above reasons, we are not agreeable to the proposed new financial model.”

France’s national railway company, SNCF, and professional and financial services group Deloitte have signed up as official supporters of France’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

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.

Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunner Solskjaer is confident that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will want to play in the Champions League at Old Trafford next season. 

Jose Mourinho snapped up the veteran forward on a free transfer last summer and the Swede has been a talismanic presence at Manchester United this season, scoring 26 goals in all competitions.

Ibrahimovic is yet to extend his contract, which expires in the summer, but according to Swedish daily Expressen, the forward will sign on the dotted line soon to prolong his stay at Old Trafford for one more season.

And Solskjaer believes the Swede will want to experience Champions League football with Manchester United, if they qualify for next season, as he feels there is no better club than the Red Devils to represent on the biggest stage of European football. 

The former Manchester United striker told Expressen: “We hope that we can qualify for the Champions League next season.  

“Then I expect Ibrahimovic will want to play on the biggest stage for the best club.

“There is no better place to play Champions League football than at Manchester United.

"They are the biggest and the best club.”

Despite winning countless league titles and domestic cups in various countries, Ibrahimovic is yet to win the Champions League in his career.

Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin has described potential interest in him from Barcelona as "special".

The 22-year-old penned a new six-year deal with the Gunners last November but has been strongly linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, with a number of top clubs across Europe thought to be interested.

Bellerin began his career as part of the Barcelona youth setup before leaving for Arsenal in 2011, and in recent days the La Liga giants have been linked with a £35m bid this summer as they continue to look for a long-term replacement for Dani Alves.

"It's nice there are a lot of big clubs that are interested in me, but if one of those is Barcelona that's special," Bellerin told Sport.

"I don't forget I grew up in that home and I will never forget my stay at Barcelona... I left Barcelona because I felt the club was not confident in me, I didn't feel valued, I was disenchanted."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has described speculation of Bellerin's potential exit as 'very difficult to take seriously'.

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Bale and Ronaldo both played as Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 yesterday. Goals from Karim Benzema and Casemiro strengthened their grip on the La Liga title.

However, despite the victory, all is not well at the Santiago Bernabeu. Spanish outlet Diario Gol claimed yesterday that Ronaldo was fuming with Zinedine Zidane for substituting him late on.

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France’s national railway company, SNCF, and professional and financial services group Deloitte have signed up as official supporters of France’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

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.

The protracted saga of Arsene Wenger’s contract situation is nearing its conclusion – and it’s not the one Arsenal fans were hoping for.

Although the offer of a new two-year deal has been on the table of some time, there had been speculation that Wenger would call time on his Emirates career after over two decades at the club.

However, despite another high-profile Champions League exit and another title challenge falling away before it could really begin, the Frenchman has seemingly become more resolute in his belief that he can steer the Gunners out of the trouble they now find themselves in.

Multiple sources on Sunday night and Monday morning have reported that Wenger will tell the Arsenal board that he wants to stay at the club beyond this season – for either one or two more years – in a decision that will not be a particularly popular one if and when it is confirmed.

In fact, the Guardian report suggests that Wenger and the board are looking for the best way of telling the fanbase that there will be no change in manager, which in itself would suggest just how toxic the atmosphere around the club has become. Confirming a deal so soon after a poor 3-1 defeat to West Brom – their fourth in five league matches – that has seen them slip to sixth in the table and putting their top four chances in real danger.