Kisumu County was a bee hive of activity on Sunday as schools arrived for the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) term two games which kick off at different venues on Tuesday.
First to arrive in Kisumu was the Coast region contingent whose chairman Juma Bora said they had decided to report to the games village earlier to allow the players enough time to acclimatise. He also added that the region will be seeking to defend the under 19 girls football and netball titles it won last year courtesy of Kwale Girls and Kaya Tiwi.
Kwale Girls, who successfully retained their under 19 titles during the Coast region games in Malindi, will however not be in Kisumu after they were later thrown out for fielding ineligible players.
Former KSSSA girls football champions St John’s Kaloleni, who had lost to Kwale Girls by a solitary goal in the Coast region finals, will be in Kisumu in their place and coach Joseph Oyoo believes the team is equal to the task at these games during which titles will also be contested in volleyball, netball and racquet games.
Another school that is also not here for the nationals despite winning their regionals is Barding High from Nyanza who were thrown out and replaced by Kisumu Day following a successful appeal.
St Peter’s Mumias won the Western region title but were locked out and replaced by Ebwali following an appeal.
KSSSA chairman Peter Orero on Sunday said arrangements for the games which started with the referees clinics on Friday were complete with the opening ceremony set for Moi Stadium Kisumu on Tuesday.
“We are ready for the games after all the participating teams including North Eastern region teams arrived in Kisumu by Sunday evening setting the stage for a bruising battle,” said Orero, who is also the principal and coach of Dagoretti High school. The school’s teams will represent Nairobi in under 16 and under 19 football.
According to Orero, the referees clinic to gauge the games' officials started with a record over 200 teachers in attendance and will be closed on Monday paving way for the team managers meeting later in the afternoon. He also revealed that Kisumu Polytechnic would host all the boy and girls under 16 football, netball and volleyball.
Kisumu Boys will host the boys and girls under 19 football with all boys accommodated at Kisumu Boys and girls at Kisumu girls.
A spot check around the Kisumu city revealed a boom in business especially on the accommodation front with many hotels already filled up with teachers and others coming for the games.
Boda boda operators had also begun positioning themselves in strategic places ready to do business for close to eight days when the games will be on.
Boys under-19 football
Shimba Hills, Garissa, St Anthony Boys, Olobosalt
Kisumu Day, Mbooni, Ebwali, Dagoreti
Boys U-16 football
Goseta, Koyonzo, Serani, Gatamahiu
North Eastern, Dagorreti High, Aggoro Sare, Machakos Boys
Girls U-16 football
Ugari, Wiyeta, Central, Dagorretti Mixed
Kobala, Maeni, Itaara girls, Waa girls
Girls U-19 football
Nyakach, Dagorretti Mixed, Karugwa Girls, Itigo
Gesero, Arch Bishop Njenga, St Johns Kaloleni, Njambaini