Undeterred Bitok keeping Malkia fit through WhatsApp


Undeterred Bitok keeping Malkia fit through WhatsApp
Then 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

  • National women’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok has turned to WhatsApp as his latest tool to help keep the Malkia Strikers squad fit, amid the novel coronavirus crisis.
  • With the pandemic bringing almost everything to a standstill, technology has come in handy for Bitok and through a WhatsApp group titled ‘Malkia Strikers Pandemic Plan’, the coach has been providing a daily plan for his players.
  • Kenya submitted a list of 20 players a month ago to the IOC before the Summer Games were pushed to next year, and the injured ones who had missed out could get a chance according to Bitok.

National women’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok has turned to WhatsApp as his latest tool to help keep the Malkia Strikers squad fit, amid the novel coronavirus crisis.

With the pandemic bringing almost everything to a standstill, technology has come in handy for Bitok and through a WhatsApp group titled ‘Malkia Strikers Pandemic Plan’, the coach has been providing a daily plan for his players.

Speaking to Citizen Digital from his rural village Simat in Uasin Gishu County, Bitok revealed he gets all the players reports on daily basis through the group which is also used to sensitize the players to stay safe.

“Extraordinary situations require extraordinary measures. As for Malkia Strikers we have stepped up our training through technology to ensure we are fit during the pandemic. During this period, I have a daily programme which all the players must follow.

“Every player shares with me a short video clip of what she has done on a daily basis and this is a norm in five consecutive days because I usually give them two days to rest in a week,” he said.

Volleyball being a team sport, Bitok says the technology training has come with its own challenges because the individual work-out cannot capture some aspects of team training.

“Volleyball is different with other sports like athletics which to some extent one can train comfortably alone. In volleyball, handling of the ball requires two or three players depending on the position because for instance, you can’t spike or receive the ball alone at home.

“What we are doing is only keeping fit and ensuring we motivate each other. I’m also very concerned with their diet because with ladies, checking weight is very vital,” he added.

Also, Bitok said with the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) could necessitate a fresh process of selecting players to feature in the global fiesta, now pushed to 2021.

Kenya submitted a list of 20 players a month ago to the IOC before the Summer Games were pushed to next year, and the injured ones who had missed out could get a chance according to Bitok.

“We have dependable players like Trizah Atuka who were not in the list of the squad which was to represent Kenya in Japan this year and because their journey to recovery is responding well, they could get a chance next year,” he told.

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