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Chief of Staff Ministry of Sports Rose Wachuka addressing Malkia Strikers in Mombasa during the low altitude training. Photo/COURTESY

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Malkia Strikers conclude Mombasa low attitude training, focus on Olympics medal

MOMBASA, Kenya, May 15 – The national women’s volleyball team, Malkia Strikers wrapped up its three-day low altitude training in Mombasa on Saturday with a Beach volleyball paring tournament within themselves.

The training was closed by National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) boss Paul Tergat who said the training has revived the Malkia Strikers’ morale after the heart-breaking Brazil trip cancellation over the surge of COVID-19 cases in the South American country.

“The girls are motivated and ready to hoist Kenya’s flag high. During the four days training they were taken through different aspects of life not training only. The players also got a feeling of low altitude training, the same weather they will encounter in Brazil during the tournament,” Tergat said.

During the tournament, the pair of setter Jane Wacu and Japanese Shota Katagiri emerged top beating the duo of middle blocker Lorine Chebet and Pamela Masaisai, left attacker Leonida Kasaya and Libero Agripina Kundu were ranked third as Libero Elizabeth Wanyama and middle blocker Gladys Ekaru finished fourth.

Head Coach Paul Bitok was happy with the program and said the team will head straight to bubble camp at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani.

“Low altitude in Mombasa is important for adapting same condition during Olympics in Japan. Malkia strikers concluded the training with beach volleyball tournament before we go back to Kasarani on Monday,” Bitok assured.

Malkia Strikers low altitude training in Mombasa. Photo/COURTESY

Attending on behalf of the government, Chief of Staff Ministry of Sports, Rose Wachuka encouraged Malkia Strikers and motivated them on mental health.

“The government is committing its full support to the team, we will make sure that this team is adequately prepared. As our brand ambassadors we wish the team and the rest of Team Kenya all the best in Tokyo,” Wachuka said.

Also, in the three-day bubble camp in Mombasa, the team was also taken through the updated version of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee Playbook.

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The Playbook provides additional information on the various countermeasures to further support their planning and preparations.

The Playbook outlines every detail around which delegation to Tokyo must familiarize, acquaint and commit to abide by themselves in order to successfully participate at the Olympics for competitions and other supportive roles.

According to the rules, the Playbook rules will be implemented progressively as the Games draw.

NOC-K boss Paul Tergat awarding top performers of the Malkia Strikers during the Beach Volleyball Tournament. Photo/PAUL BITOK FACEBOOK

Some of the main highlights in the countermeasures are as follows; the requirement for two COVID-19 tests on two separate days within 96 hours of the departure of a flight to Japan will be applicable for those entering the country after 1 July.

Athletes will arrive at the Games Village only five days to start of their events and will be expected to leave 48 hours after being knocked out or after their event’s medal ceremony, whichever comes earlier.

Meanwhile, other capacity building trainings were also carried on to the volleyballers including a presentation on personal branding and finance among others.

The Malkia Strikers were encouraged to build their personal brands, beyond being champions in order to increase their individual marketability and attraction for businesses in the sport business environment. 

Peter Gacheru, a sport marketer encouraged the athletes to define personal niche and identity, build a personality around which they could stand out using various tools such as positive use of social media, social networks and continuous learning.

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