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Bitok renews deal

Volleyball fraternity to await longer after Bitok extends stay in Rwanda

In Summary

• Bitok is currently in Kenya with the Rwanda national men’s volleyball team for the ongoing All Africa Games zone 5 Qualifiers. 

• The tactician has had a 10-year stint in Rwanda and many thought his return would be timely as he is being touted to be the next KVF boss ahead of the 2022 election.

Paul Bitok at the Moi Stadium Kasarani during the match against Egypt
volleyball Paul Bitok at the Moi Stadium Kasarani during the match against Egypt
Image: Erick Barasa

Kenya volleyball fraternity will have to wait a bit longer to enjoy the services of renowned coach Paul Bitok after he extended his contract with the Rwanda Volleyball Federation by one year.

Bitok's contract was set to expire at the end of this month. 

Bitok is currently in Kenya with the Rwanda national men’s volleyball team for the ongoing All Africa Games zone 5 Qualifiers at the Moi Stadium, Indoor Arena Kasarani.

 

He said he felt indebted to  Rwanda’s Ministry of Sports officials who approached him with a request to extend his contract.

The former KCB women’s club coach said he has had a good working relationship with the federation and the country at large and it was his turn to return the favour.

“I would like to return home and give my service to my nation wholeheartedly but I guess time is not just the right time at least for now. However, after this stint, I will definitely return home and serve the volleyball fraternity,” said Bitok also runs a foundation back at his home in Simat Village.

He added: “This week, we had to negotiate with the Ministry of Sports and I have signed for a one-year contract.

"My 10-year tenure was to end this month but you see I have to lead the Rwanda teams to the World Championships in Germany later this month.

"With the games spilling over to next month, it will be hard for me to accompany the team without a new contract turn down their offer considering our healthy working relationship,” said Bitok. 

The tactician has had a 10-year stint in Rwanda and many thought his return would be timely as he is being touted to be the next Kenya Volleyball Federation boss ahead of the 2022 election.

 

There have been arguments in some quarters too that Bitok is the remedy the Kenya national teams need to sort out the dwindling standards.

However, his contract renewal is good music to the ears of  Rwanda Volleyball Federation vice chairman Fernand Ruterana, who was pushing Bitok to reconsider his decision and renew his the contract.

“He has done amazing work not only on the indoor sport but also on the beach. I mean his work is out there for everyone to see. Before Bitok came to Rwanda, the sport was nowhere and even if it was there, we were the punching bag of our East Africa counterparts but look at us now! We are brushing shoulders with top teams in Africa,” said the official.

He added: “We are still open to partner with him going forward. But again we want to record our appreciation to the Kenya Volleyball Federation for allowing Bitok to come to Rwanda.”