JOSP CROSSING FINGERS

Barasa believes Olympics experience will help reshape his career

Kenya made their debut at the Athens Games in 2004 and competed at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

In Summary

• Barasa wants to rewrite this history by grabbing a set, if not a match, in Paris even though they face the toughest of opponents in Japan, Poland and Brazil.

• The team is curently in the Philippines for the Challenger Cup which served off on Thursday night. They will play friendly matches as they ramp up preparations for Paris.

Malkia Strikers' assistant coach Josp Barasa
Malkia Strikers' assistant coach Josp Barasa
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

Malkia Strikers assistant coach Josp Barasa hopes to make a significant impact as he deputises Japheth Munala in the team's fourth appearance at the Olympic Games in Paris, France, later this month.

Kenya made their debut at the Athens Games in 2004 and competed at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

However, the multiple African champions are yet to impress, failing to win a set in the three events.

Barasa wants to rewrite this history by grabbing a set, if not a match, in Paris even though they face the toughest of opponents in Japan, Poland and Brazil.

At the team's residential training camp, the Inspector of Prisons was in charge of physical and tactical training, especially receiving.

The team is currently in the Philippines for the Challenger Cup which served off on Thursday night. They will play friendly matches as they ramp up preparations for Paris. "My role also involves fostering teamwork and unity," he said.

"Being the national team assistant coach is a reward for my hard work over the years. It's an honour to don the national colours, on the court or the bench."

Barasa mainly uses video analysis of the team’s training, identifying weaknesses and ironing them out in subsequent sessions.

"We watch videos as we work on structures and team systems. We have been working on our weaknesses and I hope we have dealt with them as we seek to leave a mark in Paris," he explained.

Barasa believes his experience over the years will help Malikia spark.

He has twice led his club, Kenya Prisons, to third place in the African Women’s Volleyball Club Championships in Egypt (2o21) and Tunisia (May 2024) respectively.

Barasa has high expectations for the team in Paris, hoping to compete and not participate.

"I always pass the same message to the players, helping them believe in themselves. I inspire them at both individual and team levels. I urge them to market themselves whenever they have an opportunity. Paris is a perfect one," he said.

Barasa's passion for volleyball sprung while a student at Malava Boys' before joining the Prisons volleyball team in 1990.

Here, his growth continued as a player and officer. He was instrumental in the formation of the Prisons' women's team. He underwent his Level One coaching training with FIVB in 1997.

"It's been quite a journey," he says, adding: "I believe the Olympics experience will help reshape my career."