There is a need to establish beach games facilities, says KVF President Kioni


Team Kenya's Gaudencia Makokha and Naomie Too during the 2019 African Beach Games in Cape Verde. (...
Team Kenya's Gaudencia Makokha and Naomie Too during the 2019 African Beach Games in Cape Verde. (PHOTO/Mike Okinyi)

In Summary

  • Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) president Waithaka Kioni says the valuable lessons they learned from the inaugural Africa Beach Games in Sal, Cape Verde Islands will go along way in strengthening the sport in the country.
  • In an exclusive interview with Citizen Digital upon the conclusion of the continental championship, Kioni was quick to note that it was an ideal start for Kenya in such competition.
  • The games in Cape Verde were being used to pick teams to represent Africa at the World Beach Games.

Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) president Waithaka Kioni says the valuable lessons they learned from the inaugural Africa Beach Games in Sal, Cape Verde Islands will go along way in strengthening the sport in the country.

Kenya took part in the games for the first time bagging three medals in the process; silver in the half marathon, and two bronze, one in tennis and the other in women volleyball.

The duo of Gaudencia Makokha and Naomi Too bagged a bronze medal in the women beach volleyball with the men’s pair of Fazal Khan and Ibrahim Yego winning another bronze medal in the men’s beach tennis.

Charles Yosei Mneria clinched the only silver medal for Kenya in the men’s half marathon in the opening day of the championship.

In an exclusive interview with Citizen Digital upon the conclusion of the continental championship, Kioni was quick to note that it was an ideal start for Kenya in such competition.

“I have no worries because this is the first African beach competition and what we have seen is that the countries which have done well have laid a lot of emphasis on beach games.

Women volleyball did their best and qualified for the semi-final, the men tried but were knocked out by Mozambique, unfortunately, the handball and football teams did not do well but there are lessons to be learned,” said Kioni who had accompanied the teams to Cape Verde.

Kioni credited the success posted by the volleyball teams on the availability of beach volleyball circuit which runs across the country where players get a chance to play in competitive scenes at least once a month.

Although the availability of talent in Kenya is not in doubt, beach games have not gained much attention like other sports not only in Kenya but also across Africa and Kioni is confident that with the help of the government, an enormous growth of the sport can be witnessed in the near future.

“We have a beach court in Strathmore University for volleyball and it is possible to have beach facilities upcountry with the involvement of county governments.

We had an initial meeting with leaders of the Mombasa County government where we discussed the possibility of making Mombasa the main city of beach volleyball sports due to its natural beautiful beach,” added Kioni.

Kioni who doubles as the Vice President of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) says that the sport is a tourist attraction on its own and thus urges the Ministry of Tourism to support the growth of the sport in Kenya.

The games in Cape Verde were being used to pick teams to represent Africa at the World Beach Games.

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Story By Evans Makokha
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