The national women’s volleyball team’s abrupt withdrawal from this year’s FIVB Grand Prix Group III is embarrassing and disconcerting.
The Kenya Volleyball Federation announced the withdrawal this week, with chairman Waithaka Kioni explaining that the sports body could not afford to shuttle the Malkia Strikers to the tournament match venues in Kazakhstan, South Korea and Peru in June and July due to lack of funds.
The sum required is a modest Sh10 million, which Kioni said could neither be obtained from the Government nor the team’s sponsors, the National Oil Corporation.
In missing out on this international competition, the team has lost an opportunity to compete against the world’s best teams like Argentina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Colombia, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Peru, Poland Puerto Rico and South Korea.
Besides lack of exposure, our ladies will also miss out on the opportunity to market themselves, as happened a few years ago when our best girls were scouted and signed up by top clubs in Europe.
KVF and the government should step up efforts to market this team to secure more sponsors.