For the past decade and a half, Ng’iya Girls High School has been struggling to qualify for the county games in girls' hockey.
Current Nyanza regional hockey champions Nyamira Girls, Lwak Girls and Nyawara Girls have been exchanging the Siaya County title amongst themselves since 2007, relegating Ng’iya to the stands.
Nyamira Girls have won the title from 2014 to date, while Lwak Girls won it in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Nyawara were champions in 2012.
However, this is about to change this year. Backed up by support from their new principal Hellen Juma, Ng’iya Girls are ready to topple the big guns and qualify for the regional finals.
Juma, who arrived from five-time East Africa champions Sinyolo Girls in January, has promised to support the girls not only in hockey, but also in basketball, with a goal of returning Ng’iya where it belongs; in the headlines.
“I love sports. I have seen sports change the lives of many students during my time at Sinyolo Girls and I would love the students at Ng’iya to go even further," said Juma.
“We have very young hockey and basketball teams but the girls are very determined in terms of the desire to win. They have hope despite the fact that they rarely go past the county.”
Ng’iya Girls captain Ruth Chemuma said their goal is to qualify for the regionals.
They will kick off their campaign against county chanpions Nyamira Girls from 2pm.
“It has been four years of heartbreak, but now we can see the light. I believe when we play as a unit, believe in ourselves and take our chances, then nobody can stop us,” said the Form Four student.
Ng’iya will play Lwak Girls, Mbaga Girls, Nyawara Girls and Nyamira Girls in a round-robin format from today when the games begin at St Mary’s School, Yala.
“This year our target is to get to the regionals. We are going to take a game at a time starting with the defending champions,” said Edwin Ogony, the head coach.
In girls' basketball, Ng’iya Girls will again renew their rivalry with Nyamira when they clash in Group B alongside Rang’ala Girls and Usinga. Barchando, Nyagondo and Lwak Girls are in Group A.
Naftali Amabala, Ng’iya basketball coach said they too will not be left behind.
“It is a good sign that the school is psyched up and ready to get out of the comfort zone. It is not going to be easy for us but we are ready this year to go toe to toe with the bigwigs,” said Ambala.
Ng’iya will kick off their journey against Usinda in Group B.
Thursday Ng’iya Girls Fixtures
Ng’iya v Nyamira-2pm
Ng’iya v Usinda-2pm