KISUMU, Kenya, Jul 31 – Machakos based Kwathanze High School will be seeking a third Kenya National Secondary School Games girls’ volleyball title as they continue their campaign at this year’s championships in Kisumu.
Justin Kigwari’s girls have won both the national and East Africa titles in 2017 and 2018 and the tactician is confident they can go all the way and win three in a row for the first time in their history.
“I think we are able to do it because the girls have shown me their ability and I am quite confident in them. We have prepared well and the mental levels are in some good state. We expect competition of course but I have so much trust in the girls I have,” Kigwari told Capital Sport.
Kwanthanze are already through to the semi-finals of this year’s showpiece after winning their first two games in straight sets against North Eastern’s Makoror and Coast region’s St. John’s Kaloleni in matches that Kigwari mostly used his fringe players.
“I needed to see the other players who don’t get to play much and test them in an actual game and I was impressed with what they gave. We have to polish up a bit on our service and bit of reception but overall, I think we did well. Focus is to finish the group stage unbeaten,” stated the tactician.
Kwathanze has been like the garden in which emerging national team players have blossomed from with among the big names who have passed through Kigwari’s arms being Sharon Chepchumba, Lorine Chebet, Yvonne Wavinya, Esther Mutinda, Gladys Ekaru and Ann Lowem who skippered the side to the national and East Africa titles in 2013.
Kigwari says his ambition is to continue producing more players and dreams of a day when the entire Malkia Strikers will be players who have come from his school.
“I have so many right now from the Under-20 to the senior team and I want to continue producing more. One day we shall have all players in the team from Kwathanze and we will rule Africa,” the confident tactician stated.
His secret? Evolving training.
“Volleyball all over the world is changing and you have to go with the changes. Every time as a coach I have to arm myself with the latest training methods and different sets of play and transfer that to my team and that is what makes us better every year,” he stated.
Kwathanze will finish off their group matches against Pasenga and if they win, they will face whoever is second from Pool A that has Bishop Sulumeti, Soweto, Sega Girls and perennial rivals Cheptil.