After bowing out of the World Volleyball Club championships, the Kenyan club Kenya Prisons proved why women's volleyball in the country needs a new page. The team led by David Lung'aho who doubled up as national team coach until last week's appointment of Paul Bitok, lost all its matches in the tourney.
The women's game has been at its best on the regional and continental circles but on the global stage we are the whipping bags of other teams. It would not be fair to say that the game has stalled but what seems to ail the ladies on international duty?
First, we have to put it to the technical expertise available. With the national team technical bench coming from local clubs, it is almost certain that most have not much exposure on the game's smaller more scientific procedures. A few years back Kenya Volleyball Federation has sought to invest in the Japanese expertise but we haven't had much headway with that.
Secondly the local league cannot be said to be truly competitive to make for suitable hunting grounds for clubs in Europe and Asia. A few players have left but come back even before the season closes seeing the tough training regime exercised in those leagues.
Thirdly, investment in the game by the Kenya Volleyball Federation. Just like most of the sports organisations in Kenya, very little amount of monies have been set aside for grounds and training centres for the game's growth. It is embarrassing that even for continental championships held in August, the KVF had to request private institutions to host the games ( true the Kasarani gymnasium is under repair but is that the only venue worth writing home about...?)
In November Kenya returns to the international scene with another slot at the World Cup to be held in Japan. For now, the remedial measures would be to ensure the ladies remain in camp as long as possible and receive rigorous training under their technical charges.
Going forward though, KVF needs to impress upon the Kenyan Government and well-heeled corporate firms of its worth. They can borrow a leaf from Kenya Rugby Union which has seen many a corporate put some amount into the local game. As we start the new system of governance through counties in the country, it will be interesting which ones pick up investment in sports facilities such as is with volleyball courts among others.
For international expertise, KVF can forward requests to FIVB who can aid in seeking and upon secondment, recommend the necessary personnel for this. This of course would also need some funds since most technical expertise is not cheap.
That way we shall be turning a new page in the game of volleyball that has been among the consistent ones in performance by our ladies.
In Other News:
The women's team at the CAVB Continental Cup - Zonal phase held Lome, Togo secured a place in next year's Continental Cup to be held in June 2012. Kudos to you for learning your ropes fast and taking the game to your opponents. Ours is to pray your efforts will be rewarded and shining Kenya's light across the world. 2016 you ought to be on the sunny beaches of Brazil !