The national women’s volleyball team ‘Malkia Strikers’ reported to camp Monday at Moi Kasarani Gymnasium, where they will train for two weeks before departing to Brazil for a further two week training stint.
Malkia strikers head coach Paul Bitok revealed to KBC Sports that the team is thereafter expected to feature in an invitational Federation Internationale de Volleyball, FIVB, organised tournament in Turkey before departing for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
‘’We will be training for 15 days under the tutelage of four coaches from Brazil and one member from FIVB Who will assess the team for 10 days. Thereafter the Kenyan team will depart for Brazil on May 1st 2021.That means that the whole of May the Kenyan team will be training in Brazil and FIVB has lined up more than eight coaches who will be handling Malkia Strikers in Brazil. FIVB is serious with African teams they want African teams to win at the Olympics so they have lined up a good programme whereby we will have international friendly matches’’, Bitok remarked.
After the Brazillian tour ‘Malkia Strikers’ will return to the country where they will break for one week before returning to the camp for ten days then head to Turkey for an international tournament.
‘’We will be in Turkey for two weeks where FIVB have organized a tournament where Malkia Strikers will have a chance to play international countries before leaving again for another training camp in Kurume City Japan, organized by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya, NOC-K for the Kenyan athletes set to feature at the Olympic Games’’, Bitok said.
Bitok said the training will offer a chance to new players pushing for a role in the national team. A total of 16 players are set to make the Brazil trip.
‘’We want to build a team that will also help us in the next qualifiers and the next Olympic games, so when we discussed with FIVB and the Brazilian coaches they accepted that we include a few young players to travel and train with the senior team. We will be going to Brazil with 16 players. This will give a chance to young players like Esther, Pamela Adhiambo, Pamela Chepkirui and Immaculate depending on who will be chosen on May 1st’’,Bitok said.
Bitok is credited for returning Malkia Strikers to winning ways following his appointment as a head coach in 2019.
‘’When I came in a year ago the team was losing in African championship to Cameroon. And the first assignment that I was with them at the all Africa games we beat them, we went for World cup in 2019 and surprisingly Kenya used to lose but there was a scenario when we led Japan in a match and after that good outing though we did not get sets from the international opponents it did help us qualify for the Olympic Games’’, Bitok told Kbc Sports.
The Kenyan team will feature at the Olympic Games for the first time since the 2004 edition in Athens. The 2020 Olympic Games pushed forward following the spread of the global Corona Virus, is set to be held July 23rd-August 8th in Tokyo,Japan.