RAMSEY Hockey Club now has a namesake in East Africa, after a club member visited a Kenyan college.
Koru College in Western Kenya is proudly home to a Ramsey Hockey Club after the Manx side donated more than 30 shirts, sticks and balls.
The connection between the Isle of Man and the African township was established by the Manx Koru charity, having built the college and nearby clinic, thanks in part to the remarkable efforts of former Isle of Man College tutor Mary Stewart.
The island’s college has long raised money to support Koru, and Ramsey Hockey Club thought that they too could make a contribution.
The hockey club’s vice chair Gail Corrin delivered the kit over Easter when visiting her sister Janette Graham, a resident of Kenya.
‘We were worried about the bag being a bit too long and a bit too heavy!’ said Gail. ‘But all went well and we had a great day in Koru with the young students. They took to hockey with much enthusiasm.’
A bonus was when a local man joined in the activities and announced he had played for Kenya in the 1970s – a time when Kenya was ranked fourth in the world – and promised to help coach the youngsters.
Gail explained: ‘We gained a new sponsor last year, LJ Skye, and so we replaced our shirts and when I suggested how much sports equipment is needed in Koru, all our members were keen to contribute their shirts and then sticks. Coaching manuals were also donated. We are a community focused club in terms of Ramsey and the north, so our members didn’t hesitate to help. As everyone knows the gap between lives here and in Africa is enormous; initiatives like this enable a small difference to be made, and if everyone makes a small difference, the gap will be less.’
And a Manx Ramsey versus Kenyan Ramsey hockey match in the future? ‘Why not!’ said Gail.