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National sitting volleyball event attracts 11 counties

by kenya-tribune
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Over 400 sitting volleyball players and officials from 11 counties are in Meru for inter-counties competition set to serve off Friday.

Kenya national para volley secretary general Justus Katumo said the three-day event will be used to select the national team that will compete in next year’s All Africa Games in Ghana.

Nakuru, Trans Nzoia, Siaya, Laikipia, Meru and Kisumu counties will present men and women teams during the tournament.

Uasin Gishu, Baringo, Homa Bay and Isiolo counties announced they would field men’s teams, while Narok has a women’s team.

Speaking at Kamunde Hall, Meru County where the event will be held, the official said many counties were unable to field teams because of financial constraints.

Notable absentees are Nairobi County who are the defending champions in both men and women sitting volleyball. 

Katumo said though the sport was gaining popularity among disabled people in the country and Kenya is ranked third in Africa, sitting volleyball is still underfunded and called for change.

The official said Sports CS Ababu Namwamba had pledged to help the association to train referees and coaches so as to help grow the sport in the country.

He said they were keen on forming a national team by March, so that they could start preparing for the All Africa Games slated for August. 

“Just like the government supports our athletes and they bring medals, this is our event and we are keen on excelling in it. We would like support, our people can be employed in county governments to work as they pursue sports. I have gone around the country and I have not seen any disabled person appointed as a sports director. That is why it is difficult to address our issues since those in the dockets do not understand our sport,” said Katumo.

Kenya national para volley acting chairperson Doris Atieno and Meru activist Mike Makarena urged county governments and corporates to support disabled persons pursuing sports.

Siaya MCA Andrew Omwende, who is a pioneer of sitting volleyball said the sport was growing at a high rate among the people with disabilities and appealed to the county governments to fully embrace it.

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