• “The wheelchair basketball team is set for the games. We have been conducting intensive training here at Nyayo with hopes of winning a medal when the games kick off next month,” said Simiyu.
• He revealed that they had proposed a three-week training but the government said they could only camp for two weeks, which they agreed to.
Kenya Wheelchair Basketball president Alfred Simiyu Barasa is optimistic that the team will perform well at next month’s Para Africa Games in Accra, Ghana.
Simiyu says that despite the financial challenges they are facing, they are optimistic they will shine when the games wheel off on September 3-12 after qualifying for the continental championships early this year in Tanzania.
Simiyu said the teams, both men and women, are set for the championships after training for some months at the Nyayo Stadium.
“The wheelchair basketball team is set for the games. We have been conducting intensive training here at Nyayo with hopes of winning a medal when the games kick off next month,” said Simiyu.
He said the team has been actively participating internationally and being the powerhouse in the East and Central Africa region, he believes they have what it takes to post good results in Accra.
“After qualifying during the CECAFA Championships in Tanzania, we embarked on training knowing very well that we are going to face tough teams,” said Simiyu, who serves as the vice president of the East and Central Africa region.
They have been training only twice a week due to lack funds.
“We usually commute from our homes to this place for training but now that we are closer to championships, we have decided to train at least four days a week. We wanted an official camp to train daily but that has not come to pass. As a team, the federation, players, and technical officials we are well prepared for the battle,” said Simiyu.
He revealed that they had proposed a three-week training but the government said they could only camp for two weeks, which they agreed to.
However, no cash has hit their account yet.
“The commitment of our players and technical officials is great, sacrificing their time and money to commute for this noble course," said Simiyu, adding: "I talked to the international body and all the facilities needed in Accra are ready, waiting for us."
Simiyu has 36 players in the non-residential training camp, who will be trimmed to 24, 12 each for both the men's and women's divisions.
“This team is great. The fact that we competed at the Commonwealth Games last year and we will now feature in the Africa Games is quite an achievement. In Accra, we will try our best since the top three teams will qualify for the Paralympic Games in Paris, France next year,” he said.