Kenyans kick off action: East Africa’s best battle it out for regional glory

KSSSA TERM 1 GAMES Laiser Hill's Tutu Gikonyo from Kajiado County is Challenged by Derrick Wandera (left) of Nairobi during Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Term 1 National games at Embu University grounds. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]
Seven-time East Africa boys’ basketball champions Laiser Hill eye a perfect start in a quest to reclaim their lost glory.

Kenyan schools will launch their title campaign today as the 2018 Brookside East Africa Secondary School Games enter day two at different venues in Musanze, Rwanda.

East Africa’s most decorated basketball side Laiser Hill faces off with Kibuli Secondary School from Uganda in their opening Group B match.

Eying their eighth regional title, Laiser Hill will be seeking a perfect start to make amends for last year’s dismal show that saw them eliminated at the group stage.

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The Kenyan champions were a dreaded side in East Africa before fizzling out, but are now eager to salvage their pride. Laiser Hill last won the prestigious trophy in the 2012 games held in Bunjumbura, Burundi.

Laiser captain Sheldon Ouma believes they carried home invaluable lessons from last year’s competition held in Gulu, Uganda and are ready for this year’s challenge.

“I think we have improved and are better than we were last year. We have matured in the sport and are also strong mentally and I believe that we will play a better,” Ouma said. Kenya’s second side Sigalame make their debut at the games tomorrow in Group A against homeboys and defending champions APE Rugunga.

In girls’ basketball, 2016 winners Kaya Tiwi begin their hunt to reclaim the title against Rwanda’s LDK in Group B.  The three-time national champions were bronze winners last year.

In Group A, debutantes Butere Girls face a baptism of fire against 2015 winners St Mary’s Kitende of Uganda.

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Football representatives Kakamega and Olbolosat will also be in action today in their respective pools.

Kakamega, who won bronze last year, face Uganda’s B.S. Kimanya in Group B as newcomers Olbolosat face hosts LDK in Group A.

“If we can get a winning start, we will have the confidence of going all the way in this tournament,” Kakamega skipper Chris Alpha Onyango said.

In girls’ football, there will be an all-Kenyan clash pitting four-time winners Archbishop Njenga against Nginda Girls in Group B.

Rugby 15s will see another all-Kenyan clash between national champions Upper Hill and six-time regional winners Kakamega.  Kenya’s other side Menengai play Uganda’s St Mary’s Kisubi.

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In girls’ volleyball, champions Kwanthanze face Rwanda’s St Alloys in a repeat of last year’s finals.

Soweto Academy face Cheptil in another all-Kenyan clash in Group B.

In the boys’ matches, former winners Malava clash with PSVF Karubanda of Rwanda as Kapkonyolei debut against Uganda’s Wagwa.

In hockey, five-time winners St Anthony’s Boys Kitale play Musungu as Upper Hill face Uganda’s Ntare.

In girls’ matches, former winners Kerugoya take on Tigoi.

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East AfricaEast Africa Secondary School Games