Despite losing its last match 3-1 to Parklands, Multimedia University Hockey team still tops the Kenya National Hockey League with 20 points after playing 9 matches; the team has won 5 matches, drawn 3 and lost only one match. But who is behind this success? Its none other than Coach George Jalang’o commonly known as Jalas, Victor Nabiswa caught up with him and this is a story about his journey as a coach.
Q- We have a lot of people out there who don’t know you, so can you very briefly give us a true picture of George Jalang’o?
A-George Jalang’o is a father of 3 sons who was born 50 years ago in Kisumu, I grew up playing hockey and that’s why where I am today.
Q-Being a coach you must have started as a player, when did you start playing hockey?
A-I started playing hockey in 1975 when I was in standard 5 in central primary school, when I was in class 6 I was named school captain. The following year I represented my school in the competition where we reached the final level, I also represented Kisumu municipality in the inter-municipality competitions where again we did tremendously well.
Q-Why did you decide hockey to other games?
A-I was good at hockey from primary school, our home being less than a kilometer from a hockey pitch, it motivated me even more to play hockey. I also love playing other games like table tennis, basket ball running and Ajua.
Q-Can you explain to us what Ajua game involves?
A-Ajua is a game played locally by wazees(old men) where 3 stones are used, you put them in holes and go round when you have one stone against 2 you earn yourself a point.
Q-At what point did you discover that you have a talent in hockey?
A-I have played hockey from my childhood, when I joined form one, I was given the captainship of my team and the next year when I was a form 2, I had already started practicing with a nearby club, after practicing for a week they included me in their team and that’s when I discover I was a good hockey player.
Q-You coach Multimedia men and women hockey teams, why is it that men are doing very well while women are tailing in their league?
A-I think it’s a matter of experience, when I joined Multimedia the men team was already in place but the lady’s team was started this year.
Q-What are the clubs that you have coached?
A-I have coached lots of clubs, I was with Nazarene University before coming to Multimedia, I have coached Barclays Bank when the lady’s team was started in early 1990s. I have also coached several universities in Europe when I was there studying.
Q-How many titles have won so far in your career?
A-I can say I have won everything that should be won in this country because I have emerged the winner of inter –municipality competitions, the Nationals hockey men, inter- provincials called Tata club, the National and Premier league and this year am hoping to win both KNHU and KUSSA leagues.
Q-What can you describe as the greatest game since you started coaching Multimedia?
A-My greatest game was my team was playing against Parkroad; we were losing that game until we scored in the last ten seconds.
Q-Who are the greatest people in hockey you look up to?
A-First is Chris Otambo, we were together at Barclays and Parminda Saini of Kisumu samba those two were very inspirational.
Q-Do you take hockey as a job or just a hobby?
A-I love hockey and to me it’s more than a job because I sacrificed everything possible, perform well, I use my own money, I spent a lot of time just to ensure my team perform exemplary good as opposed to those who take hockey as a job will just perform their job as a coach and wait for their salary.
Q-What has hockey as a game taught you about life?
A-Hockey has taught me a lot because it has made me whom I am, I have gained from it, have played from all levels and it has taught me that in life we should be dedicated fully in whatever we undertake.
Q-What is in your basket?
A-My future plans is to take Multimedia university to greater heights and put and many MMU players to the National teams because I was there and I believe they can also do so and also to win both the KNHU and KUSSA leagues.
Q-Your advice to young people, who have got the talent but don’t exploit it fully?
A-First discover your potential and go for it, if you are good in running like Rudisha(David Rudisha-Wolrd 800M Record holder), use your talent to not only put food on the table but to became the person you want to be in life.
Q-Lastly, your parting shots?
A-Hockey is a good game just like football, despite the fact that many people think it’s dangerous it is very safe, we just have to change our perception towards it.
NAME: COACH GEORGE JALANG’O
NICK NAME: JALAS
DATE OF BIRTH: 1962
TEAM: MULTIMEDIA MEN AND WOMEN