Soweto Academy coach Johnston Mukabwa has said they were tired of playing second fiddle to their volleyball rivals, national and regional champions Kwanthanze and Cheptil Secondary in school games and vowed to change the script during the National Term Two Games.
Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association Secretary General David Ngugi recently hinted that the Term Two Games could be held in June concurrently with Term One Games that were suspended last month due to coronavirus pandemic that has seen over 100 of positive cases recorded in the country.
Kwanthanze and Cheptil have regularly stood in the way of Soweto Academy whenever the Kibra-based school sought to challenge for the national and the East African Games girls’ volleyball titles.
Soweto finished third both at the nationals that were held in Kisumu, and Federation of East African Secondary Schools Sports Association Games (FEASSSA) in Arusha, Tanzania last year behind Cheptil and winners Kwanthanze.
Soweto succumbed to Kwanthanze 3-0 in the semi-finals of the East African Games having lost to Cheptil 3-2 in the group stage of the same event.
Kwanthanze later swept aside their compatriots Cheptil 3-0 in the final to retain the regional title as Soweto defeated GS Indagaburezi of Rwanda 3-1 to settle for bronze.
Mukabwa said the script has to change this time round.
“We have no choice but to turn tables on them. Only one player in the name of Peninah Barasa cleared school last year and joined Kenya Pipeline.
“We have a formidable squad that is keen to win the titles that have remained elusive to us for this long.”
He continued: “I have been with the team since it’s inception in 2012 and I have witnessed the sport grow in leaps and bounds. But of all the squads that have been there, I believe the current team has what it takes to ruffle feathers and cause upsets.”
Mukabwa, who is also the school principal, however, observed that with the coronavirus outbreak that led to schools closing indefinitely, the players might lose their fitness and will be forced to start from a lower level when schools to reopen.
“We want to extend our appreciation to national women’s team assistant coach and KCB women’s volleyball team coach Japheth Munala for sharing his knowledge on sports with our team. It goes without saying that they have become better players.”
However, even in his optimism, Mukabwa expressed caution since schools were closed: “Even if we gave them training programmes, I am not sure if they can religiously follow them. Remember, these are students who need a close check.”