The national women’s volleyball team, Malkia Strikers, has recorded a disastrous performance at the ongoing Volleyball Women’s World Championship in Japan. This raises serious question about the future of volleyball in the country.
Although the team made a stunning start by winning the first match against Kazakhstan, it did not go far.
It lost all the subsequent matches against Serbia, Brazil, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, hence failed to qualify to the knockout stage.
The lacklustre show is a clear manifestation of how the women’s volleyball standards have plummeted in the county. That the standards are failing goes without saying.
Notably, the poor show in Japan comes a month after the junior team failed to qualify for Women’s World Under-20 Volleyball Championship due for next year in Mexico.
Cameroon has slowly emerged as Kenya’s main rival besides Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt.
It is Cameroon which bundled Kenya out in the preliminaries of the Under-20 Championships even though Rwanda and Egypt got the Africa slots for the Mexico event.
But the results were hardly surprising. It is the very Cameroon that dented Malkia Striker’s chances of participating in the 2012 and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Cameroon also beat Kenya 3-0 to win the Africa Volleyball Championships last year.
All these go to demonstrate Kenyan women teams have lost their grip on the Club championships.
The last Kenyan club to win an international women volleyball tournament was Kenya Prisons in 2013. Since then it has been on a free fall.
Kenya Volleyball Federation and the government now need to wake up and smell the coffee. The standards will continue to fall if no structures are put in place to identify and nurture talent.