Commandos’ mission possible
- 10-time Kenyan champions Kakamega High going for double glory this year
Kakamega High, popularly known as the ‘Green Commandos’, have set their targets extremely high in this year’s Airtel Rising Stars Term Two ‘B’ secondary school games.
The Western representatives are on a tough mission. First, they want to reclaim the national title they last won in 2008. The nationals will be staged in Mombasa next week.
For ultimate glory, the 10-time national champions want to win their first East African title and end Kenya’s decade-long wait for the regional football crown.
St Anthony’s won the inaugural East African title in 2002 but, ever since, Kenyan schools have found the going tough in the regional games.
“We will do our best at the nationals. Our aim is to win both the national and the regional titles,” Kakamega’s Edwin ‘Toure’ Mwanzi said on Tuesday.
Since 2002, Uganda has lifted the trophy eight times, with Kenya and Tanzania winning it once each.
Mombasa High is the only Kenyan team that has come close to winning the regional title after St Anthony’s. They won silver in the 2006 edition in Dar es Saalam.
Tanzania’s Magongo were surprise winners at the 2005 finals in Mbarara, Uganda. Football has been a Ugandan affair, with the defending champions, St Mary’s Kitende, lifting the trophy seven times.
While the boys’ football title has been elusive, Kenya has dominated the overall title in the same period. Since Kenyan teams first won the overall title in 2002, they have never surrendered it and will be out to retain it at this year’s edition in Bujumbura from August 20.
According to Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) assistant secretary, George Omondi, Kenyan teams will camp at St Charles Lwanga and St Martin’s High School, Busia for two days before leaving on August 23. “Kenya has been winning the overall title since 2002, but have never impressed in boys’ football and handball, but we hope to do better this year,” Omondi said.
Team Kenya will drive to Mbarara on August 23, rest for a day and head to Bujumbura for the week-long sporting bonanza.
Three boys and girls volleyball and football teams will be selected at the end of the Mombasa finals. Kakamega will battle it out for the regional slots with Upper Hill of Nairobi, Tetu (Central), St Anthony’s (Rift Valley), Garissa (North Eastern), Gekomoni (Nyanza), Tononoka (Coast) and Kibirichia (Eastern).
Girls’ teams that have already qualified for East African Games are Shimba Hills, Buru Buru and Alliance (basketball), Kamusinga and New Jogoo Road (handball), Kapkolei, Kerugoya and Asumbi (hockey) and Shimba Hills and Obambo (netball).
St Anthony’s, Kamusinga and Lenana will represent Kenya in hockey as Laiser Hill, Upper Hill and Maseno do duty in boys’ basketball.
Kakamega, Maseno and Mang’u are rugby’s representatives, while Silbwet and Toroso are the handball teams.