The contrast between men and women volleyball teams
Kenya Volleyball Federation vice president Martin Makokha has blamed the lack of investment in the men volleyball as the main reason behind the team’s constant struggles in the international assignments.
Makokha says that compared to their female counterparts, the Malkia Strikers, the men team have not had the requite investment to enable them punch equal to their weight.
The men team performed dismally in the recently concluded African Cup of Nations cum World Cup Championships, finishing 10th in the continent, while the Malkia Strikers shone brightly in Cameroon, finishing runners –up behind the host, to nail a World Cup slot set for Japan, next year.
“Malkia Strikers have had an opportunity to expose themselves at the international level for long, including in Olympics, World Championships, World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations.
“This is contrary to the men team which has not been exposed that much, hence less experienced,” said Makokha.
Makokha also believes that inadequate preparations played a part in the team’s waterloo.
“Our preparations were very poor compared to the other teams that participated in the tournament. Proper preparations entail playing friendly matches with stronger teams but unfortunately we could not afford to arrange for such,” added Makokha.
Team captain Jairus Kipkosgei also revealed that they were not prepared in their opening matches owing to lack of adequate rest after a long plane journey stretching 24 hours.
“We didn’t have enough time to rest since we arrived and the following day we had a match. I believe it really affected our performance because we started taking shape after three days,” Kipkosgei said.
According to Makokha, there are a lot of positive to be picked from the competition, the poor performance notwithstanding.
“This team that participated in the African Championships is made up of players below 23 years and as a federation we would like to build the next generation around this team, beginning with next year’s under 23 Africa Championships,”Makoha said.
Unlike Malkia Strikers who have been crowned Africa Champions for a record nine times, the men team’s greatest achievement so far is the bronze medal which they won in the All Africa Games in Mozambique in 2010.
Kipkosgei also affirmed that for the team to become a volleyball powerhouse in future, there must be consistency within their ranks; whereby players will spend a lot of time training prior to international competitions.
“What we need to do to improve is to have more exposures and longer periods of training since our matches are very competitive unlike those of women,” added Kipkosgei.
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