Look who’s back; “Prodigal son” Bitok returns home


Look who’s back; “Prodigal son” Bitok returns home
Outgoing Rwanda coach Paul Bitok instructs his charges against Kenya during their Women's Under 23 African Nations volleyball champions at Safaricom Gymnasium stadium Kasarani on October 27, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha/Citizen

In Summary

  • Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) is keen on working with the Rwanda national men’s volleyball team coach team Paul Bitok who is set to end his association with the Rwandan outfit in two months time, after 10 years of decorated service during which he’s led several other teams in the tiny east African nation.
  • In an interview with Citizen Digital, KVF president Waithaka Kioni  welcomed the looming return of Bitok, adding that he believes the 48-year-old former national player will share his rich experience harnessed during his Rwanda stint.
  • The pending departure of one of the “the greatest volleyball coaches” in Africa is a bitter pill to swallow for Rwandese fans

Philip Muchiri

Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) is keen on working with the Rwanda national men’s volleyball team coach team Paul Bitok who is set to end his association with the Rwandan outfit in two months time, after 10 years of decorated service during which he’s led several other teams in the tiny east African nation.

In an interview with Citizen Digital, KVF president Waithaka Kioni welcomed the looming return of Bitok, adding that he believes the 48-year-old former national player will share his rich experience harnessed during his Rwanda stint.

“We respect what he has achieved in Rwanda and we believe he can add value to our national teams,” Kioni explained. “He has already told me about his return and will see how best we can utilize his skills.”

The 48-year-old was appointed in 2010 as head coach of the men’s senior team, but also handled other national teams at different levels in different regional and international competitions, including the just-concluded Beach Volleyball Africa Cup of Nations in Abuja, Nigeria, guiding both the men and women’s teams to qualifying for this year’s World Championships in Germany which runs from June 28 to July 7 in Hamburg, Rwanda becoming the only country to qualify both teams.

“We expect him to contribute a lot to the growth of the sport in Kenya, but we acknowledge that he still has duties in Rwanda because he is still in contract till end of June,” observed Kioni.

Waithaka Kioni( left) has welcomed Bitok’s pending return.

The pending departure of one of the “the greatest volleyball coaches” in Africa is a bitter pill to swallow for Rwandese fans, who went to social media to express their frustrations at the development.

“Leaving Rwanda to help his native county Kenya to achieve the results that will see victories in the forthcoming All African Games and importantly the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” one of the fans wrote on Facebook.

On his official Facebook page, Bitok wrote: “End of 10 Year’s Era in Rwanda.”

He helped Rwanda finish fourth at the 2011 All Africa Games in (Mozambique) and the 2015 edition held in (Congo Brazzaville).

 

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Story By Philip Muchiri
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