Kenya's women focus on World Grand Prix
The World Grand Prix is a great chance for Kenya to showcase its talent outside the borders of Africa, especially after failing to qualify for the 2014 FIVB World Championships. Kenya lost the World Championships ticket against Tunisia during one of the two Africa qualification rounds that were played in Nairobi early this year.
Veteran head coach David Lung’aho and assistant Japheth Munala have shown trust in veteran players who featured in the World Championships qualifiers by including them in the provisional squad for the World Grand Prix. They include: Jane Wacu and Janet Wanja (setters); Ruth Jepleting, Bracksides Agala and Joan Chelegat (centers); Monicah Biama, Mercy Moim, Everline Makuto, Esther Mwombe (right); Lydia Maiyo, Violet Makuto, Esther Wangeci (left) and Elizabeth Nafula (libero).
Upcoming stars - who are the future of Kenyan volleyball - have also been called up, including Joy Luseneka (setter), Joan Muhindi Trizah Atuka, Edith Wisa, Chemtai Ndiema, Noel Murambi (centres) and Naomi Too and Agripina Kundu (liberos).
The two tacticians are arguably the best in Kenya as they also manage top clubs which have dominated the African and local scene for years. Lung’aho led Kenya Prisons to a second-place finish in the last African Clubs Championships in Tunisia, while Munala guided Kenya Pipeline Company to the bronze position.
The team started training at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi on June 11. Kenya Volleyball Federation First Vice Chairman Martin Makokha said that the Kenyan government had extended their support to the team by allowing them to train at the gymnasium. "The federation would like to take this earliest opportunity to thank the government for allowing the national team to train in the indoor arena."
Makokha believes that the team have ample time to train before they start out on their Grand Prix mission. "We want to convince the FIVB that Kenya deserves a permanent slot in the Grand Prix Championships and the only way to do so is by returning better results," he said.
This is the first time that Kenya have been entered in the Grand Prix Championships. Africa will be represented by two teams - Kenya and Algeria - who will both play in Group 3.
Group 3 includes: Kenya, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Bulgaria and Australia.
Setters: Jane Wacu, Joy Luseneka (Prisons), Janet Wanja (Pipeline), Joan Mulindi (KCB); Ruth Jepleting Trizah Atuka (Pipeline); Bracksides Agala, Joan Chelegat, Edith Wisa (Prisons), Chemtai Ndiema (Nairobi Water); Right: Noel Murambi, Monicah Biama (Pipeline), Mercy Moim, Everline Makuto, Esther Mwombe (Prisons); Left: Lydia Maiyo, Violet Makuto (Prisons), Esther Wangeci; Libero: Naomi Too (Nairobi Water), Agripina Kundu (Pipeline), Elizabeth Nafula (Prisons), Leonida Kasaya (KCB).
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