Malkia Strikers begin 2-month high performance training in Brazil
The Kenyan volleyball ladies landed safely in Brazil and have already kickstarted their 2-month high performance training ahead of the 2022 Volleyball World Championships in Poland and Netherlands.
The 19th edition of the Championships which are slated for September 23 to October 15 sees Malkia Strikers placed in Pool 'A' alongside European champions Italy, hosts Netherlands, Belgium, Puerto Rico and Cameroon.
Malkia Strikers' first taste of Brazilian coaching came last year when FIVB catered for the team's expenses to the South American country and coach Paul Bitok giving his verdict on the venture. Currently, four Brazilian top coaches led by Luizomar de Moura, who have been seconded to Kenya by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) as part of the Volleyball Empowerment Programme will guide the ladies.
"Remember Brazil have won more volleyball titles than any other nation in the world. They also coach top Brazilian teams and that shows you how important they will be to the team," noted Bitok.
The gaffer also added; "They will definitely push the players to a different level in training in a bid to motivate the playing unit. Ours is to cooperate with them so that by the time we go for the Olympics, we can win some matches."
Coach Paul Bitok is targeting to beat Cameroon and Purto Rico on the world stage in a bid to sail to the second round. Bitok however warned against underrating any opponent.
"It's not about Cameroon or Puerto Rico. As you know Puerto Rico is a very good team. They don't appear most of the time in big tournaments because they meet with powerhouse US in the qualifiers. We met with them in the Grand Prix and they are not to be taken for granted," explained Bitok.
"Cameroon are no pushovers either as much as they are rebuilding. We have to tackle each team with the right mentality with the sole purpose of getting a result," added Bitok.
Malkia Strikers Squad:
Outside hitters - Noel Murambi, Mercy Moim, Meldine Sande, Yvonne Wavinya and Veronica Adhiambo
Middle blockers - Edith Wisa, Belinda Barasa, Gladys Ekaru, Lorine Chebet and Magdaline Mwende
Opposite attackers - Violet Makuto and Sharon Chepchumba
Setters - Emmaculate Nekesa and Veronica Kilabat
Liberos - Veronica Makokha and Aggripina Kundu
Coach - Paul Bitok, Assistant coach - Japheth Munala