Prodigal son Bitok begins journey to 'revive Kenyan volleyball'

Tuesday July 23 2019

Paul Bitok (fourth left) shares a light moment with members of the national women volleyball team, Malkia Strikers, outside the Kasarani Indoor Arena on July 18, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |


Celebrated volleyball coach Paul Bitok is back in the country but will not rush to take the mantle as national team coach until proper structures are put in place.

Speaking to Nation Sport on Tuesday, the former Kenyan international - who last month turned down a new contract from the Rwanda Volleyball Federation where he was head of volleyball development for over a decade - said he is more interested in long term solutions but not quick fixes to the problems facing volleyball in the country.

He, however, said he is willing to offer technical support to the national teams whenever he is called upon even as he continues to liaise with the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) to change the face of volleyball in the country.

“I am back and would want to see Kenyan volleyball return to yesteryears but this cannot be done overnight. I have already done a proposal to KVF to chance the league format among other several changes I have proposed to them in a document which I presented to them today for possible adoption at the KVF Annual General Meeting (AGM) set for this Saturday,” said Bitok.

Bitok, who joined the women national team training camp on Tuesday to offer technical support on request of the KVF national office, was categorical that he would only take up the full time coaching duties at the national team only if the current technical bench is maintained.

“I did not come here to take anybody’s job and will not take up any full time coaching duties if any current coach will be dropped at least for now,” said Bitok.


Among the changes Bitok has proposed in his document is a change of the league format to be played on home and away basis with all the matches being played indoor. He has urged league teams to start identifying indoor courts that they will call home when the new format is passed by stakeholders.

Bitok also wants the league season to serve off in October and conclude in May of each year, with the period between May and June specifically left for national team assignments and beach volleyball.

“We cannot continue to do things the way we used to do in the 90s when I was still a player. There is no way we can continue playing league matches outdoor and expect good results at international stage," said the former KCB player and coach said.

Bitok says he has reached an agreement with a potential sponsor who is ready to pump money into the game but only if things will be done in the correct way.