NAIROBI, Kenya, June 15 – The national women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers has appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to come through to their aid and finance their Sh46mn budget that will allow them compete at the World Championships in September.
The Malkia Strikers had landed a sponsorship from world governing body FIVB for a month-long training camp in Brazil after which they were to travel to Serbia for another month of training.
For the Brazil camp, FIVB would cater for all their domestic needs while in Serbia, they had already received a Sh10mn sponsorship from betting firm Mozzart.
They were to cater for their own air tickets and allowances, with the entire circuit leading to the World Championships in Netherlands set to cost a total of Sh46mn, as per Kenya Volleyball Federation vice chair Charles Nyaberi.
“We are stranded and we don’t know what will happen because we were supposed to leave on Saturday morning. Training has stopped today because our fate is not known. We don’t know if the World Championships will be affected as well,” said Malkia Strikers head coach Paul Bitok.
He added; “The President His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta celebrated with us in Mombasa after we came back from the Olympics and promised us we will not have problems again. I hope he will remember this and keep his promise and talk to the ministry to give us funding for this trip,” he added.
Bitok says that the camp would have been hugely helpful for them to prepare for an assault at the second round of the World Championships.
He says the evidence and progress seen after the Olympic Games when Kenya had four Brazilian coaches training them would be even doubled should they get the chance to travel to Brazil and Serbia with a squad of 20 players.
According to Nyaberi, they had requested Sh23.26mn for the camp in Brazil, a further Sh6.5mn for the Serbia camp and Sh15,9mn towards the World Championships.
“FIVB picked on us as the only African team getting this sponsorship. We are just hoping that everything goes well. The government has always come through for us and we hope that they will come through again. This team has a track record of success,” Nyaberi stated.
Assistant captain Noelle Murambi has also asked the government to consider their plea to enable them do well in the World Championships.
“The Government has been very supportive of us in the past whenever we go out for any Championship and we hope for the same too. It will be important for us to have this camp to play against top teams and also gauge ourselves to improve. As players, we hope that they can finance us. We just need air tickets and allowances,” she said.
Meanwhile, Bitok is unsure whether the uncertainty also covers the World Championships which are scheduled for September, with Kenya playing its group matches in the Netherlands.