All eyes focus on nationals
Regional representatives to this year’s Airtel Rising Stars national schools championship started jetting into the Mombasa port city yesterday morning to use the shortest possibly opportunity to acclimatise. Provincial Secondary Schools Sports Association officials and team managers from the various regions led their stars in checking in at Mama Ngina Girls on the main island and Shimo la Tewa Boys School on the north Coast who will also host events alongside Shanzu Teachers College.
Coast Secondary Schools Sports Association chair Rodgers Mwafungo yesterday said only North Eastern and the hosts had not arrived. The he others had already checked in. “Almost all the teams have jetted in save for North Eastern representatives and hosts Coast. The North Easterners have communicated that they are on their way coming and as for the hosts they are just within, so there is no problem as far as they are concerned,” Mwafungo said.
Teams from Rift Valley including the region’s girls’ and boys football representatives Tartar and St Anthony from Kitale are already in town ready to face hosts Tononoka and last year’s winners Gekomoni in the group round. Mwafungo said Western, Nyanza, Central and Nairobi’s Upper Hill who will represent the city in boys football and volleyball; Olympic and Buru Buru Girls, in for legball and girls volleyball are all set.
Meanwhile nothing in the sports armoury was spared in the attempt to ensure Coast Secondary School triumph in this year’s Term Two “B” championship at Shimo la Tewa School as national federations coached the hosts in readiness for the event. Both Football Kenya Federation and Kenya Volleyball Federation Coast chapters seconded highly qualified coaches to train the regional representatives in the respective games in an act of solidarity.
FKF provided technical assistance to Tononoka Boys and St John’s Girls’ Kaloleni, Giriama and Kilifi Mixed Secondary who represent the region in football by seconding reputable coaches Kassim Issa and Joseph Oyoo respectively.
KVF fully sponsored coaches for local boys and girls volleyball champs Mivumoni and Mekatilili wa Menza from Matuga and Malindi districts respectively, hoping to bag honours at the national event starting tomorrow at Shimo and Shanzu Teachers’ College. KVF Coast secretary Ben Juma said yesterday: “KVF seconded Jacaranda VC coach Walter Kipchoge to Mivumoni as Malindi VC produced a coach for Mekatilili wa Menza to polish them.”
FKF South Coast branch’s secretary Evans Mwachia revealed Oyoo, a former women’s team national team coach who holds level one and two certificates from England has been training St Johns and Kilifi Mixed to steer the girls to greater heights. “We really wish to see a final derby between St John’s and Kilifi Mixed. Kassim who holds CAF level “C” certificate has been assisting Tononoka’s Swaleh Abdallah Sunda to ensure this year they do not lose in the final,” said Mwachia.
Both FKF and KVF expressed confidence that the local teams will turn tables on their upcountry counterparts and urged local fans to turn in large numbers and cheer up the home boys and girls to victory.