Kenya Basketball Women Commission has embarked on a journey to ensure more women take up technical positions in the basketball scene.
The commission's chairperson Nelly Odera on Wednesday confirmed that already 20 women are undergoing online training to take over the role of basketball table officials during local league matches and tournaments when the season tips off in September.
According to Odera, who is also the team manager of Eagle Wings basketball team, the table officials course which is being conducted by Kenya's international basketball referee Eric Omondi, will be followed by a women's coaches clinic next month as the commission seeks to increase the women coaches in the country.
"Practically there are no women table officials at all locally and only two women coaches in the entire leagues of 64 teams. Based on this unfortunate situation, we as a women have undertaken a capacity building initiative to ensure we improve on this area by training as many women officials as possible," Odera told Nation Sport.
According to Odera, 25 women coaches have already attained qualifications to coach in the Kenya Basketball Federation-affiliated leagues and will soon be starting their online training after their training was postponed from last month.
"It is a very unfortunate situation where only two women coaches are actively coaching premier league teams, among them long serving Eagle Wings coach Everlyne Kedogo and most recently Sylvia Kamau who was appointed Equity Bank women basketball team coach in February," Odera said adding that several other women coaches will be joining the two after completing the month-long online coaches clinic.
Odera appealed to women, especially retired players, to return to the game and help in mentoring the ever increasing numbers of girls who are taking up the sport.
According to Odera, several women have already taken up basketball coaching especially at the secondary schools and colleges level but need training so that they can be certified.
"After the coaches' training, we want to slowly start invading the male dominated territory by introducing the women coaches to premier league clubs as assistant coaches as they gather the confidence to take over the mantle as head coaches in premier league team's", she said.
Odera is happy that Kenya at the moment has two international referees in Mary Thomas and Diana Mayaka.
She remains confident that Susan Ndichu and Catherine Wanjiku, who attended an international referees' clinic organised by Fiba in Kampala, will soon join Mayaka and Thomas to increase the number of international referees locally to four, the highest number in the history of basketball locally.
Kenya Basketball Federation treasurer Peter Orero lauded the women commission for the efforts they are putting in place to develop the game locally and assured them of the federation's support.