• Lack of support from the government has slowed down the progress of the Tanzanian teams—Daoudi.
• The soft-spoken player launched his volleyball career as a 10-year-old in Mwanza
Trail Blazers outside hitter David Neeke says volleyball standards in Kenya are on another level compared to neighbouring Tanzania, owing to massive support from the federation and government.
The 26-year-old Tanzanian joined the newbies in November last year when the Ruaraka-based side was formed.
He also said the Kenyan volleyball structure is an inspiration to the youths who have always had people to look up to.
This he said, serves as a motivation for the juniors whose skills are honed at high school before exploding at the club level and eventually earning moves overseas.
He, however, noted that the lack of support from the government has slowed down the progress of the Tanzanian teams.
"Back in Tanzania, we have in the past qualified for many international championships but failed to honour them due to lack of funds," the hard-hitting attacker highlighted.
"Kenyan players are lucky. They have a competitive league with quality players and they honour most international competitions.
Kenya Volleyball Federation is also working closely with the government and there's a unity of purpose," he revealed.
"Under-age players have mentors to watch over them and this serves as extra motivation. More Kenyan players are also flocking to foreign leagues and everything seems to be working well here," he added.
The soft-spoken player launched his volleyball career as a 10-year-old in Mwanza, the second-largest city in Tanzania, on the shore of Lake Victoria.
"I grew up in an area where many kids loved to play soccer but also the volleyball courts were very close to our pitches. Soccer was my first love but it took the intervention of a certain volleyball coach to convince me to trade soccer for my current sport, "
Neeke went to Tanzania's financial hub, Dar-es-salaam after high school to continue playing volleyball and his 3-year stint in the country's largest city earned him a move to Mombasa Prisons in 2017.
A career-threatening injury saw Neeke re-consider his future at the Coastal club. "I got an injury that almost cut short my career. Imagine being out of action for a year. Thankfully, Equity poached me in 2020 but I am now settled at Blazers."