Scottish hockey trainer Niall Sturrock has advised the Hockey Association of Malawi (HAM) to put an improvised turf on their stadium project site at Kamuzu Upper Stadium to move along with developments that have taken place in the hockey world.
The University of Strathclydeâ€™s head of centre for sports and recreation said this on Sunday at the Blantyre Sports Club as he arrived to conduct a week-long Level 2 hockey coaching course for 21 local coaches.
Sturrock said since an artificial turf costs about K100 million (about $400 000), HAM should try their best to have an improvised one because elsewhere top hockey competitions are now played on astroturf.
“Much as we know that an astroturf is expensive, I feel that having an improvised pitch with similar qualities of flat surfaces, where the ball can run faster, would be the best option for developing countries such as Malawi,” he said.
HAM president Tochi Gill said they are already putting effort into developing a standard hockey stadium although finances are hard to come by and that their budget would be altered further due to the countryâ€™s economic challenges.
“That is really a great idea, but even such an improvised pitch would still require sufficient funding,” he said.
Nevertheless, Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) president Oscar Kanjala, whose body is funding the coaching course through the Olympic Solidarity Programme, said they would look at ways of assisting HAM to come up with a world standard stadium.