Wednesday, 2 November 2011

November 2011 - Sporting Bonanza

New month, new challenges, new opportunities. Yes, Kenyan sports scene is experiencing good things for this 2nd last month of the year 2011.
Safaricom 7s 

And to start us off is one of Kenya's premiere events the Safari 7s which saw it changed from the usual mid-year period to November so as to align with the IRB 7s circuit which starts end of November 25-26th in Australia. Riding on the back of a new management team as well as loaded sponsorship deals, it will be a defining season for the Kenyan team which seeks to regain its touch as one of the best playing units outside traditional rugby powerhouses. 3-5th of November make a date with Kenyan team as it seeks to start 2011-12 season on winning note.

After missing 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Kenya starts her journey for the FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil in 2014. This is against a backdrop of major changes in the sport mainly the Kenya Football elections which brought in new office bearers and new body Football Kenya Association. The national team also got one of its former handlers, Francis Kimanzi ( currently managing KPL side Sofapaka). 11th November make a date with Harambee Stars as they starts this arduous journey.
On the regional front, CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup starts on 24th November to 9th December 2011. This has Cup has eluded the national team for the last 9 years and this could be a nice way to warm the boys up for World Cup qualifiers and also rise up FIFA Rankings.
At a local level though the Kenya Premier League comes to its final leg as teams seek to represent Kenya in continental challenges. It has been another competitive year for the SuperSport-sponsored league which has enjoyed increased interest from local football fans and TV alike.

The Kenyan women's team is back in Japan to represent Africa in the FIVB Women's World Cup. Since it is not their first outing, we are hoping the ladies can finally muster some steel and win a game or two to place Africa's representative at a better place. Being the highest ranked women's team from Africa on the FIVB World Rankings ( currently at 15th place), it will not be an easy ride brushing with top sides such as Brazil and Germany.

Kenyan Basketball - image courtesy of
The Kenya Basketball Federation Premier Leagues come to an end. This season has seen some resuscitation of sorts with the #FridayNightBasketball building a good fan base which is seeing some basketball streaming back to the Nyayo National Basketball gym. The Friday games have organised courtesy of Kenya Basketball Federation, CodeRed DJs - an entertainment outfit which is making entreaties into sports events management and has some sponsorship from GM Kenya. Unconfirmed reports intimate Zuku has developed some interest in screening the games on its ZukuTV.
Catch these games in every weekend culminating with the Finals last week of November or early December. In those news, those of you who love the NBA are surely hoping the lock-out can be quickly resolved for what looks a torrid season for this league which is any basket-baller's dream.

New York Marathon 2010 - image courtesy of AP
The World Marathon Majors continues on with New York Marathon scheduled for 6th November at "The Big Apple". With Kenyan marathoners enjoying one of their best seasons so far, it will be good to see who runs with this one. Last year's second placed, Emmanuel Mutai starts as favourite for the men's race but looking at the retinue and pedigree of Kenyan runners and Ethiopians chasing hard, it will be anyone's day. In the women's version, Mary Keitany will be hoping to add another WMM title after taking the London Marathon earlier this year.

What is slowly becoming a laid-back and rallying relic in this part of the world, the East Africa Safari Classic Rally is back after one-year break. Featuring former world champions in motor rallying and cars that won the races back in the day, the rally will drive through parts of the East African states of Kenya and Tanzania (click this for East Africa Safari Rally Route map).
Some of the expected drivers include former winners of the earlier version include Bjorn Waldegaard, Ian Duncan, among others. The Rally starts on 19th November at the Sarova Whitesands finishing at the same venue on the 28th. For you who loves adventure and the beauty of the savannah, make time to trail these rally enthusiasts.

Whichever sport tickles your fancy, enjoy this and other sporting bonanzas from in and around the country. Cheer your favourite individual, team or country as the year rolls out another month.

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