Malkia Strikers handed Mizuno boost hours to WC opener
Global sportswear and equipment company Mizuno through Yokora Sports Limited has provided the national indoors women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers with athletic shoes ahead of the 2022 FIVB World Championship that is set to serve off in Poland and the Netherlands on Friday.
The sponsorship was confirmed on Thursday, hours before the Kenyan queens begin their tournament against co-hosts the Netherlands at the Gelredome in Arnhem from 9 PM local time.
It is the second time that Mizuno has sponsored Malkia Strikers ahead of a major tournament with the first being in the run-up to the delayed 2020 Olympics in Japan. Head coach Paul Biotok welcomed the gesture as well as revealing that the Japanese giant is in the process of securing a long-term sponsorship deal to provide the nine-time African champions with full sporting apparel and equipment.
He said, “I take this opportunity to thank Mizuno company for the great support for sponsoring the Kenyan national team for the second time after the 2020 Olympics. Mizuno are also in the process of signing a long-term sponsorship of all equipment in the future for the Malkia Strikers team.”
Apart from being provided with state-of-the-art sporting shoes, Bitok’s charges have also gone through world-class training in the build-up to this year’s showpiece thanks to FIVB’s Empowerment Programme.
For close to three months, the team camped in Brazil under the tutelage of Osasco Club head coach Luizomar de Moura and his technical team. The Brazilian coach was seconded to Malkia Strikers by the FIVB and will be with the team for the second global tournament after the 2020 Olympics.
Kenya played several friendlies in Brazil against teams in the top and lower divisions as well as the Brazilian national U21 women’s side registering mixed results.
It was the same in Serbia earlier in the week where the team, courtesy of sponsors Mozzart Bet, played two friendly matches against club side Red Star Belgrade and the Serbian national second team.
Kenya wrapped up its preps with a straight sets loss to Canada on Wednesday.
Malkia Strikers have been placed in Pool A alongside co-hosts the Netherlands, African rivals Cameroon, reigning European champions Italy, Belgium and Puerto Rico.
After the Netherlands, Kenya will take on Belgium on Sunday 25th, Cameroon on Tuesday 27th, and Italy on Thursday 29th before concluding the group stage against Puerto Rico on October 1st. All matches will be played in Arnhem.
There are four groups of six teams each and Africa is represented by Cameroon and Kenya.
The top four teams in each Pool will progress to the second round where another group pairing (two Pools) will see the top four teams progress to the quarter-finals stage.
Kenya has never progressed past the first round.
Below is the Kenyan squad;
- Mercy Moim
- Noel Murambi
- Meldinah Sande
- Veronica Adhiambo
- Edith Wisa
- Gladys Ekaru
- Lorine Chebet
- Belinda Barasa
- Emmaculate Nekesa
- Veronica Kilabat
- Sharon Chepchumba
- Everline Makuto
- Agripina Kundu
- Yvonne Wavinya