•Conspicously absent from the games are defending national football champions, St. Anthony's Kitale, who were upset by minnows Kabarnet in the Rift Valley region finals last Sunday.
•Hosts Rift Valley will provide the bulk of the teams in the competition.
The Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) Term Two Ball Games are ultimately back after a two-year lull occasioned by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The school games suffered a deadly blow on March 13, 2020, when they were put on hold as soon as Kenya confirmed the first case of the ravenous disease.
President Uhuru Kenyatta suspended all extracurricular activities in schools as a containment measure.
The games ultimately resumed this term but faced more unprecedented challenges, including a jumbled school calendar and the General Elections that necessitated school closure for two weeks.
But after all the twists and turns, Kenya will eventually pick representatives for the Federation of East Africa Schools Sports / Games.
According to the calendar of events released by the Ministry of Education, teams will arrive in Arusha for the regional games on September 14.
All action will run between September 15-23 before the teams head back to their home countries on September 24.
KSSSA has already set the stage for the national championship at Nakuru High School. The national championship will kick off on Friday, September 9 and culminate in the finals on September 12.
The association’s national executive and region secretaries met early this week to assess and approve all the playing fields and accommodation facilities ahead of the games.
KSSSA national treasurer, Kariuki Gikonyo, told the media they have done their best to provide a conducive environment for the games.
“Safety is key for our children. The committee has to be satisfied with the fields to ensure the integrity of our games and safety of the players,” Kariuki said.
KSSSA said a one-day referee workshop will set the ball rolling. The officials drawn from the participating regions will meet at Nakuru High School for a coordination clinic a day before the teams arrive for the games.
“Referees clinics will be executed in one day, on September 8. Referees are requested to travel early to avail themselves for the clinic,” KSSSA said.
“There will be four action days, from Friday, September 9 to Monday, September 12. Effectively, each team will be expected to play two matches per day.”
Teams are required to carry at least two sets of playing kit/ uniforms. Other than the dominant ball games, the event will equally afford budding swimmers an opportunity to showcase their talent.
“The swimming clinic is slated for September 9 and the swimming competition will run from Saturday through Sunday,” KSSSA said.
The teams that qualify for the East African Games will then head to Kajiado on September 13 for a one-day clinic ahead of the regional showpiece.
It has not been all rosy for the organisers and the participating teams with some notable hiccups casting aspersions on the integrity of the games.
For instance, Highway Secondary School will now hold down the fort for Nairobi on the national stage following the disqualification of Waylight from the competition.
Waylight, who shook off their minnows' tag heading into the tournament to upset Highway 1-0 in the regional finals on August 28, was found culpable of fielding four ineligible players.
Highway were later handed a lifeline after lodging an appeal to protest the presence of the quartet in the hotly-contested thriller.
In a letter written to KSSSA, Highway took issue with the presence of four players in Waylight's lineup, claiming they got in through the back door.
“The captain of the team whose real name is Joshua is a former student in the same school but sat his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams in 2020. He is currently using another person's name, Robert Muteti, who wore jersey number 17,” the letter read in part.
“Barnabas Mukile (jersey number 16) cleared school in 2020. He has been training with the Kariobangi Sharks Under-20 team the entire season and has not been attending classes as alleged by the school.
“Player wearing jersey number five finished schooling before 2019 and plays his soccer in the village without going to school. His real name is Abdul, a born and practising Muslim but has used the documents of one Ian Ongonde.”
“Samuel Omondi was on the team but missed from the team photo album. Anei Deng finished primary school from Bondeni primary school and sat his KCPE in 2021 at Waylight and, therefore, is ineligible to play.”
But in a rebuttal, Waylight dismissed Highway's allegations as baseless and laced with malice.
“In that protest letter, Highway alleged Joshua was using someone's documents. Investigations revealed that his real name is Muteti Robert and Joshua is a nickname,” Waylight said.
The school further said that Barnabas Mukile, a Form Three student, used to play for Maili Saba FC and not Kariobangi Sharks as alleged before he joined Waylight.
“Player wearing jersey number five was Ian Ongode and not Abdul. Ongonde played the whole match at right full-back.
Waylight said the player referred to in Highway's protest letter as 'Abdul' is Sneddon Blasto, a practising Christian, who wore jersey number six.
“Ongode Ian is in Form Four, as confirmed by investigators through the nominal roll. Samwel Omondi never played after being struck off the list by Highway during a pre-match checkup since he wasn't in the photo album.”
Waylight said Tom Ochieng had mistakenly appeared in the photo twice while Samwel is in Form Two and had a certified birth certificate and KCSE slip. He, however, wasn't in the group photo.
“Anei Deng, currently in Form Two, sat for his KCPE at Kifaru primary school in 2020 and not at Bondeni as alleged.”
“After the investigators gave all these reports and proved that the allegations were lies, they brought in an issue which was not part of their appeal, that Muteti Robert had not attained the 90-day rule.
“To you fellow sportsmen, KSSSA rules state clearly that the 90-day rule only applies to a transferred student. A player cannot also play in the same year he repeats school.
“However, all the two rules apply only if the said player participated in KSSSA games in the previous year before repeating or transferring,” Waylight said.
So, that article doesn't apply since the school games weren't played in the past two years.
“In conclusion, let it be known that the issue of Waylight being disqualified is peddled on malice and mischief, an act being executed simply because Waylight is a private school.”
“In any case, the case was to be heard and a ruling rendered, but the Nairobi Executive Office decided to execute their plan hurriedly pooling Highway so that Waylight would succumb to pressure,” Waylight claimed.
Rift Valley also has a surprise representative after reigning champions, St. Anthony's Kitale lost to minnows Kabarnet Boys High School from Baringo county.
A daunting cloud of dismay engulfed St. Anthony's Boys Kitale after the glamour lads bowed out of the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA).
The defending champions were dethroned by dark horses Kabarnet High School from Baringo county, who will fly Rift Valley's flag in the national championship slated for September 8-11 in Nakuru county.
The minnows pulled off the tournament's biggest upset ever this season to edge out their more fancied opponents 7-6 on post-match penalties after the teams played out a barren draw in regulation time.
The school games resumed this term after a two-year lull owing time the ravenous Civic-19 pandemic.
St. Anthony's had done well in the tournament before their setback after cruising through the group stages to book a berth in the semis where they beat perennial arch-rivals Leiser Hill on post-match penalties.
But all the plans they had nurtured of defending their national title went up the smoke, following their defeat to Kabarnet.
Goalkeeper David Wamalwa — an alumnus of the school — who currently plies trade for Nyeri-based National Division One side, Marafiki FC, watched in utter disappointment as the reality unfolded.
A national title winner with the school in 2019, Wamalwa said 'Solidarity Boys' were let down by poor communication and lapses in concentration despite the squad's sufficient depth.
“The lineup was superb and the boys generally displayed good football. They were confident but got bogged down by concentration lapses. They also lacked the kind of drive needed to outperform opponents at that stage,” Wamalwa said.
Wamalwa, 22, is talking from a knowledgeable perspective, having steered the Solidarity Boys to the 2019 national title as the team's assistant captain and goalkeeper.
Wamalwa won the title alongside Musamali Dan (Kenya Police), Dan Odhiambo (City Stars), Tyson Kapchanga, Issa Lumumba, Ken Kyalo Mwenda (Kariobangi Sharks), Elly Senyi (Ulinzi Stars), Jacob Onyango, Sammy Kiplagat (Sofapaka), Issa Emuria (Mombasa Elite), Geoffrey Onjwati (Mwatate United) and Christopher Raila (APS Bomet).
They were guided to the title by Bobic Odowa who currently tutors the second-tier side, Mwatate United. Wamalwa believes he and his former teammates at St. Anthony's have acquired the expertise and experience required to grace the topflight stage.
Several other football heavyweights also crushed out of the games. They include former National Super League (NSL) outfit Kakamega High School’s Green Commandos who were knocked out by little-known Mwitoti High School from Mumias after going down 2-1 during the semi-finals of the county stage.
Hosts Dagoretti High School who kicked off their campaign on a high with a 9-0 drubbing of Ndururuno, also got eliminated from the Nairobi regional finals following their 5-4 loss to Highway after the teams played out a barren draw in regulation time. St Peter’s Mumias will be missing in action too.
A total of 16 teams will flex muscles for the National 7s title in Nakuru County. The teams were picked after the regional inter-school games held across the country over the past week.
Nairobi representatives, Ofafa Jericho and Upper Hill headline the list of schools eyeing the national title. They have intense rivalry from Rift Valley, Western, Coast, Central, Nyanza and Eastern regions to contend with.
Hosts Rift Valley will provide the bulk of the teams in the competition, after Nanyuki, Menengai, Ngong Township and Kabianga all sailed through.
Nanyuki sealed a slot after defeating Menengai 3-0 on drop kicks in a tense final, following a seven-all tie in regulation and extra times.
They will be joined by semifinalists Ngong Township and Kabianga who crashed 10-0 and 21-0 to Menengai and Nanyuki respectively. Ngong emerged third following a 12-7 victory over Kabianga in the playoff.
Koyonzo and Butula will represent the Western region. Koyonzo were crowned champions after thumping Butula 26-5 in the regional final at St. Peter’s Mumias.
Shimba Hills and Mazeras will hold down the fort for the Coast region. Shimba Hills walloped Mazeras 36-0 in the final to clinch the regional title after running over Mwambiti in the semis. They had drubbed Tudor 29-0 in the quarters on their way to the podium.
On the other hand, Mazeras made light work of a hapless Malindi, beating them 5-0 in the semis, reproducing their result in the quarterfinal against Mghalu.
St. Mary’s Yala will fly the Nyanza flag after edging Nduru Boys 12-7. Yala romped to the finals following a resounding 14-5 semifinal victory over rivals Maseno School.
Nduru beat Agoro Sare 12-10 to clinch a berth in the finals. Alliance and Magumu will represent Central while All Saints Boys and Kang’aru will represent Eastern after all four teams secure the top two positions in their respective regions.
2022 KSSSA TERM TWO NATIONAL GAMES DRAWS AND POOLING
Pool A: Kinale (Central), Kimoson (Rift Valley), Mbagathi (Nairobi) and Bumala (Western).
Pool B: Kobala (Nyanza), Kayatiwi (Coast), Katwala (Eastern) with a representative from North Eastern yet to be confirmed.
Pool A: Mangu (Central), Friends School Kamusinga (Western), Kisumu Day (Nyanza), St Antony's Boys (Rift Valley)
Pool B: Katangi (Eastern), St. Georges (Coast), Chewoyet (Rift Valley), Jamhuri (Nairobi)
Pool A: St Mary's Taachasis (Rift Valley), Moi Girls Marsabit (Eastern), Mwiki (Nairobi), St Cecilia Misikhu (Western)
Pool B: Karima (Central), Matuga (Coast), Transnzoia Mixed (Rift Valley), Nyamira Girls (Nyanza)
Pool A: Manyatta (Nyanza), Mangu (Central), Kamito (Rift Valley, N/Eastern
Pool B: Hospital Hill (Nairobi), Mbooni (Eastern), Kimilili (Western), Dungicha (Western)
Pool A: Moi Girls Kamusinga (Western), Dagoreti (Nairobi), North Eastern, Simisi (Eastern)
Pool B: Kakrao( Nyanza Region), St. Joseph's Kitale (Rift Valley), Nyathuna (Central), Dungicha (Coast)
Basketball 5x5 Boys
Pool A: Onjiko Boys (Nyanza), North Eastern, Dagoretti High (Nairobi), Friends School Kamusinga (Western)
Pool B: Laiser Hill Academy (Rift Valley), Lukenya Academy (Eastern), Pioneer School (Central), Dr Aggrey (Coast)
Basketball 5x5 Girls
St Joseph Kitale (Rift Valley), Tigoi (Western), Chogoria (Eastern), Ototo Mixed (Nyanza) Pool Olympic (Nairobi) Loreto Limuru (Central), Kayatiwi (Coast), N/Eastern
Basketball 3x3 Boys
Draws shall be done at the venue.
Girls: Buruburu (Nairobi), Magomano (Central), Mitangoni (Coast), St. Joseph's Kitale (Rift Valley), Butere Girls (Western), Nyakach Girls (Nyanza), Kiteta (Eastern)
Boys: Upper Hill (Nairobi), Kiambu Sec (Central), Timbilia (Coast), Laisser Hill (Rift Valley), Chesamisi (Western), St. Mary's School Yala (Nyanza), Machakos Boys (Eastern)
Pool A: Highway Sec (Nairobi), North Eastern, Mbooni (Eastern), Bukembe (Western)
Pool B: Olbolsat (Central), Kabarnet (Rift Valley), Serani (Coast), Kisumu Day (Nyanza)
Pool A: Kinale (Central Region), Dagoreti Mixed (Nairobi), Kibauni (Eastern) Itigo (Rift Valley)
Pool B: John's Kaloleni (Coast), Wiyeta (Rift Valley), Mwira (Western), Kobala (Nyanza)
Pool A: Vitengenib(Coast), St Joseph (Nyanza), Ruthimitu (Nairobi), N/Eastern
Pool B: Cheptil (R Valley), Namwela (Western), Gikondi (Central), Kaundu (Eastern)
Pool A: Nyakongo (Nyanza), North Eastern, Karima (Central), Kesegon (Rift Valley)
Pool B: Mwitoti (Western), Kwanthanze (Eastern), Vyambani (Coast), Soweto (Nairobi)
Koyonzo and Butula (Western), Nanyuki High, Menengai, Ngong town and Kabianga (Rift Valley), St Mary's School, Yala and Nduru Boys (Nyanza)Alliance Boys and Magumu (Central), All Saints and Kangaru Boys (Eastern), Shimba Hills and Mazeras (Coast)Ofafa Jericho and Dagoretti High (Nairobi)