• KSSSA secretary David Ngugi announced Term Two games which include football, volleyball and racket games will be held in Kisumu in August.
• Ngugi also acknowledged the government’ s registration of school pupils through NIIMS has made it easier for games officials to deal with cheats.
There was twists and turns as new champions emerged in various disciplines in the just concluded Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) national Term One Games in Mombasa.
In girls’ handball, Rift Valley’s Karandich overpowered regulars Moi Girls Kamusinga 17-13 to win the title while in basketball, Buruburu Girls humbled champions Kaya Tiwi courtesy of a 43-41 triumph.
Karandich at the same time produced Daisy Chemutai as the Most Valuable Player in the handball.
In rugby 7’ and 15’s, Nairobi’s Upper Hill turned the tables on 2018 champions Laiser Hill Academy of Rift Valley, whom they edged out 10- 05 in the final while in the 15's, Kakamega defeated Nairobi’s new kids on the bloc Dagoretti 18-11 to emerge new champions.
Commenting on the new found status, Karandich Principal Richard Nyolei, said their win was a dream come true having yearned for a national trophy for many years.
“We thank God for our achievement. We hope to push it further and again win the East Africa Games. For now, it's a good feeling to be the champions,” said Nyolei.
Buruburu coach Julius Otieno attributed the win to hard work and persistence.
“We won the title last in 2000 and really it has been a long time and finally, we are here,” said Otieno.
On the flipside, the status quo remained in the boys' handball, basketball (hockey boys and girls) and athletics.
Kimilili retained the boys' handball title, thanks to 35-21 win against Mbooni under new coach Wasike Wangwa as giants Laiser Hill Academy (Rift Valley) saw off Dagoretti 69-52 in 15s rugby.
Laiser Hill was once again crowned national champions for the fourth time in a row in boys hockey with a 3-1 win over Kamusinga after penalty flicks following a 2-2 draw in regulation time.
In athletics, Rift Valley dominated all the field and track events as well as the cross country to emerge top. They bagged a total of 23 medals (10 gold, 8 silver and 5 bronze). Nyanza finished second with 14 medals ( 7 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze) while western finished third with a total of 12 medals (1 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze).
At the same time, Kirandich, Buruburu, Agoro Sare, who won boys' basketball playoffs against Alliance 60-42, will make a debut at the East Africa Games set for August in Arusha, Tanzania.
Others making their debut in the regional show include — Meru (hockey) and Kangaru (Rugby 7s) after emerging third in their respectively disciplines.
Rift Valley were ranked the best region with 106 points followed closely by Western (100 points) with Nyanza completing the podium with 80 points.
Others followed in the order: Nairobi (74 points), Eastern (64 points), Central (62 points), Coast (60 points) and North Eastern (six points).
KSSSA secretary David Ngugi announced that Term Two games which include football, volleyball and racket games will be held in Kisumu in August.
Ngugi also acknowledged the government’ sregistration of school pupils through the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) has made it easier for games officials to deal with cheats.
“When I moved around the pitches, I was impressed to see only genuine learners participating in the games. This was a big break from the past, where we have grappled with fake players,” said Ngugi.
He also said the KSSSA General Council had resolved to minimise the participation of foreign students in the games to a maximum of two per team per discipline to ensure the Kenyan youth get an opportunity to showcase their talent and transit to join national teams in their respective disciplines upon completing school.