The Africa Women’s Club Championship serves off today in Cairo, with Kenyan teams under pressure to rediscover their winning ways. Our women’s teams, notably Kenya Pipeline and Kenya Prisons, have done the country proud in previous competitions, beating all before them to emerge champions of Africa. Before 2013, Kenyan teams won the preceding 15 editions, bringing the country honour.
But in the past five years, Kenyan teams have struggled to leave a mark in the tournament, falling behind north and west African opponents. Notably, teams from Egypt, Tunisia, Cameroon and Algeria have stamped their authority in the championship, riding on the back of strong youth development structures and vibrant domestic leagues. This has ensured a steady supply of talented players for clubs and national teams in these countries, attracting the attention of European clubs.
Since winning the women’s national team title in Africa for the first time in 2017, Cameroon has been on an upward trajectory in the last five years, both at club and national team level.
Cameroon qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro at Kenya’s expense, and the country’s clubs have continued to perform well in African competitions. In contrast, our fallen giants Kenya Prisons and Kenya Pipeline have not won an African title in the past four years despite winning it nine times between 1998 and 2013.
In Kenya Pipeline, Kenya Prisons and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), our country has a chance to regain lost glory when the championship starts today. All is not lost.