Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Jan. 19, 2022 — Is Zimbabwe making little to no progress in diversifying women’s hockey?

This week, Zimbabwe, the nation which won the first gold medal in women’s field hockey at the 1980 Olympics, finds itself in a bit of a social-network pickle.

Zimbabwe, if you recall, used to be one of the apartheid states in the southern cone of Africa, to the point where it was named Rhodesia, named for Cecil Rhodes, the leader of the British South Africa Company, a corporation originally chartered to capitalize on the expected mineral wealth underground and bring it back to Britain.

Leading into this week’s Africa Cup of Nations in Accra, Ghana, social media in Zimbabwe has decried the lack of minority representation within the team, with blame being placed squarely at the feet of sports minister Kirsty Coventry. There are three Black players on the Zimbabwe side, but the social media talk is about others who did not make the team.

Given the racial makeup of the country even after the institution of Black majority rule in the late 1970s, that’s fair. However, some of the media reports on this story had said that there were no Black players on the team, which is not true.

Still, it’s interesting to note how many other nations with high minority populations don’t have as many as one dark-skinned player on their field hockey national sides.

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