New order in Team Kenya

By Amos Abuga
Friday, June 4th, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
A section of Malkia Strikers players after training at Kasarani. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Kenya’s squad to the Tokyo Olympic Games will have the highest number of female participants ever to take part in  multi-sport bonanza.

Yesterday, women teams for volleyball (Malkia Strikers), rugby sevens (Lionesses) and boxing (hit squad) were hosted by a group calling itself ‘women Olympic team stakeholders’ for an engagement on a number of issues at the Safari Park hotel in Nairobi.

Kenya will be sending more female athletes to the Olympics, a bigger number than has been witnessed before and that majority of them will be debuting in Tokyo is something that excites the stakeholders.

Malkia Strikers returns to the Olympic Games after a 17 years absence (Athens Olympic Games in 2004), boxing team will send two female boxers Christine Ongare and Elizabeth Akinyi, for the first time since 2012 London Games when Elizabeth Andiego became the first female Kenyan pugilist to the Games, while Lionesses will be making their maiden appearance at the Olympics.

Forum facilitators

The facilitators at the function included Rose Wacuka, the policy advisor and chief of staff at the Ministry of Sports, Parvi Rawel, the women’s representative at the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) and Sabrina Simader, the first Kenyan skier to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, Winnie Kamau, Deputy General Team Manager and sponsor Joy Michira, Head of beer at Kenya Breweries Limited.

They took pride in Team Kenya to Tokyo Olympics, where women comprise 57 per cent -the highest in Kenya’s Olympic history.

“I would like to assure you of the Government’s commitment to support our Olympians as they continue to prepare for the competition in July.

We value the public-private and civil sector partnerships with companies like Kenya Breweries showing their continuous support for Team Kenya.

The ladies here today are a representation of the potential we have as a country promote and diversify the sporting industry now and, in the future,” said Wacuka

Mercy Moim, the Malkia Strikers captain, said she was grateful to lead the women national volleyball to the global games after a long absence.

“We expect a good outing. We will inspire, cheer up each and ensure we perform well. We will not disappoint Kenyans,” she said.

The athletes were taken through issues on branding, use of social media, self discipline and how to attract sponsorships as well as endorsements. Michira insisting on the power of branding more so in sports.

“Speak about what you do, what you love, what your passions and aspirations are; there are many young girls out there who look up to you,” she said.

The gathering  came on the wake of Nock  exploring possibilities of having team Kenya’s Tokyo team have a pre Games  training camp elsewhere  after Karume City in Japan pulled out of hosting the team citing Covid-19 challenges.

Amos Abuga