Eldoret town came to a standstill as Kenya secondary school teams marched through the streets to mark the official opening of team’s camp ahead of the regional games that kick off on Saturday morning in various fields.
The town was painted red as the students wearing national team colors and waving Kenyan flags, attracted curious crowds who gathered to find out who they were and what the occasion was on Friday afternoon as they made their way to the Uasin Gishu governor’s office. Jackson Mandagor received the team.
Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association chairman Kimutai Ng’etich noted that they clinched most titles but lost in football which will be their main focus this year.
“We lost in football, which is our bedrock of all sporting activities in Kenya. It was so disappointing. This time, hosting the games means we have to do much better than we did last year in Rwanda,” said Ng’etich.
Kenya also lost volleyball boys' title to Rwandan side Rusumo. Besides Cheptil who are in the pool, there will be Tetu also from Kenya, Ld Nyanza from Rwanda, Makongo of Tanzania and Ugandan side Luyanzi.
“It was also hurting to lose 4x400m relays to Uganda and you know Kenya is well known in athletics,” added Ng’etich.
Cheptil Boys coach Fredrick Ojiambo was confident ahead of the games. Despite losing the title last year, he said that will not deter his efforts to lift the title this time, now playing on home soil.
“As a team, first we want to qualify from the group stage before handling other cases and once we are through, we can do better to go ahead and win the title,” said Ojiambo who has been with the team for the last five years.
Coming from a volleyball powerhouse Nandi County, the school won the national title early this month in Kisumu winning against former FEASSSA champions Malava Boys from Busia.
Malava Boys from Kenya leads pool B alongside Kitende and Singers all from Kenya. Ugandan Burembe and Apapen from South Sudan are the other teams.
Netball: St. Mary’s Kitende (Uganda) vs Kizuka (Tanzania), Obambo (Kenya) vs Cheptil (Kenya), Exodus (Uganda) vs Kaya Tiwi (Kenya), London College (Uganda) vs Ukawani (Tanzania)
Girls: St. Mary's Kitende (Uganda) vs Nabisunsa (Uganda), Buruburu vs LD Kigali (Rwanda), Kaya Tiwi vs Barchando (Kenya), Buddo (Uganda) vs Juhudi (Tanzania), College Gesenyi (Rwanda) vs LD Tanganyika (Burundi).
Boys: ETG Nyagabiga (Burundi) vs Alliance (Kenya), Buddo (Uganda) vs Makongo (Tanzania), Upper Hill (Kenya) vs Kapenguria (Kenya), PS Baptiste (Rwanda) vs South Sudan team.
Girls: Sinyolo (Kenya) vs Kerugoya (Kenya), Tigoi vs Kakungulu Memorial (Uganda), Old Kampala (Uganda) vs Namagunga (Uganda).
Boys: Friends School, Kamusinga (Kenya) vs Upper Hill (Kenya), St. Athony’s Kitale (Kenya) vs St Mary’s Kasasa (Uganda), Kakungulu Memorial (Uganda) vs Ntare School (Kenya).
Girls: Matuu Memorail (Kenya) vs El.Technique (Burundi), Matuu Memeorial (Kenya) vs Sega Girls, Mbogo (Uganda) vs Moi Girls Kamusinga (Kenya), Apega (Rwanda) vs South Sudan.
Boys: ES Kigoma (Rwanda) vs Mwanakwerekwe (Zanzibar), Makongeni (Kenya) vs Kibuli (Rwanda), Kimilili (Kenya) vs St. Peter's Chesirikwo, Gisenyii (Rwanda) vs Dynamic (Uganda).