When Alice Owiti joined Sinyolo Girls High School in 2014, her dreams were to play football and probably, turn professional later in life.
Unknowingly, she decided to try her hand in hockey while in Form Two.
She went on to guide Sinyolo to winning both the national and East Africa regional hockey titles from 2015, 2016 and 2017.
She was voted the best player both at the national and East Africa games in 2017, a feat that opened new doors as she signed for Lakers Hockey Club from Kisumu.
She was part of Sinyolo’s team that visited France in 2018 for the Centenary Celebration in commemoration of the World War II.
Owiti’s hockey prowess saw her join Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology on a four-year sports scholarship last year.
She made her premier league debut last year, guiding the Kisumu team to a fourth-place finish, where she was voted the league’s Most Promising Player.
She also finished second in the top scorers’ race with six goals, two behind Jacky Mwangi and Jilly Okumu.
In this interview with the Standard Sports, Owiti who made her international debut for the Kenya national women’s hockey team during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers in South Africa last year, talks of her expectations in hockey and her dreams of playing in France.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR COLLEGE WORK AND PLAYING IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE?
During weekdays, I study in Kakamega, while on weekends, it is always hockey time. That is when I travel to Kisumu for weekend training sessions and league matches.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Lack of facilities has been my main undoing. Given my modest background, these facilities have been quite expensive to get. Also, striking the expected balance between schoolwork and playing hockey hasn’t been that easy.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION OF THIS SPORT?
People assume this is a dangerous sport considering we use sticks to hit a small hard ball. But that is not the case, this sport is enjoyable and fun.
HOW HAVE LAKERS IMPROVED YOU AS A YOUNG PLAYER?
The exposure I have had since joining the club in 2018 is unmatched. Without Lakers, I would not have had the chance to play for Kenya in the Olympic qualifiers in South Africa, last year.
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TO SUCCESS?
There is no secret to success. It is all about hard work, discipline and putting God first. Your commitment to what you do is what will determine the output in the end.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER?
Leading Sinyolo to be the East Africa secondary school hockey champions in 2017 and having the opportunity to visit France in 2018. The exposure in France was magical and I would love to go back there again.
WHO INSPIRES YOU IN HOCKEY AND WHY?
Strathmore University and national team captain Jilly Okumu. She plays her heart out and she’s vital when it comes to teamwork. She is always free and open to advise us.
WHO IS YOUR CONFIDANT IN THE TEAM?
WHO IS YOUR MENTOR?
My high school teacher and coach Aloice Owino. He taught me the basics of hockey. Off the pitch, it’s my mother. She has been my number one supporter.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL?
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE MUSICIAN?
Tanzanian Diamond Platinumz. I enjoy Bongo and some Luo music
WHICH ATHLETE DO YOU CONSIDER THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME?
WHAT OTHER SPORT WOULD YOU HAVE PLAYED?
I would have played football.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
To be an international player in Europe, especially France.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE IN KENYAN HOCKEY?
I would ensure that Kenya Hockey Union gives financial support to all clubs. Most players are doing almost everything by themselves and without much support.
HOW DO YOU WANT THE WORLD TO REMEMBER YOU IN SPORTS?
I want to be remembered as a sportswoman who impacted positively in other people’s lives by nurturing talents and giving back to the society.