Former Kenya hockey international and Olympian, Parminder “Kake” Saini has passed away at the age of 66.
Kake represented Kenya at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1998 Seoul Olympic Games
Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) chairman Nahashon Randiek confirmed the sad news.
He said the former Kisumu Simba player took his final bow at a Kisumu hospital after a short illness on Sunday.
Kisumu County Governor Anyang Nyongo eulogized Kake as one of the greatest hockey players in East and Central Africa during his time.
“I have learnt with shock and sorrow, the sudden death of sports icon, Parminder Singh Saini “Kake.” I wish to convey my sincere condolence to his family, friends and the sports fraternity in Kisumu and the entire country,” said Nyongo.
“His humility and the magic hockey stick put Kisumu on the international map. He mentored many young hockey players and always stood tall among his peers. An Icon has fallen, but his legacy remains. Simba amelela! Go, thee well Kake.”
Kake was born in 1957 in Kisumu where he studied at Miwani Primary School and later Kisumu Boys High School where he played hockey for the school until 1976.
He moved to the United Kingdom for further studies where he enrolled at Slough Hockey Club.
Upon returning to Kenya in 1979, he joined the defunct Kisumu Simba Union Club.
He was called up to the national team for the Six Nations tournament in Loisano, Italy where he earned his first international cap when he was selected to play against India in 1981.
Kake captained Kenya at the East African Championship in Tanga, Tanzania in 1983 as well as test series against India.
He was selected to represent Kenya at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, where the team finished eighth overall.
Kake was in the winning team at the All African Games in Nairobi in August 1987 as they qualified for the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games where they settled 12th, the last time Kenya took part at the Games.
Kake played his last international match against Zimbabwe in 1993 before venturing into coaching upon retiring.
He coached Kisumu Simba Union and also served as KHU vice chairman from 2014 to 2015 and was the Union’s technical advisor until his demise.