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Sports Girls

EVE GAL
By | April 18th 2012

Studies have shown that sports have a positive impact on girls’ confidence and self esteem. SHIRLEY GENGA talks to five girls who balance sports and school work effortlessly

Brenda Nawiri, 17 years.

School: Buru Buru Girls High School.

Brenda Nawiri

Class: Form Three

Sport: Basketball

Position: Point guard, shooting guard and team captain.

How does it feel to be in the number one ladies basketball team in Nairobi and to have made it to nationals?

We worked hard and believed in each other as a team. There is not a better feeling in the world than that.

Tell us about your basketball training schedule?

We practise daily from four to six every evening. We do everything from 30 sit-ups to 30 press-ups to shooting to ball handling.

When did you begin to play basketball?

I discovered my love for basketball together with my twin brother when we were in primary. My twin brother now plays rugby but I continued with basketball.

Who is your basketball role model?

Lebron James. He has charisma, is good at handling the ball and is always determined.

What is your favourite subject?

I love all the sciences and maths.

What is your dream career?

I would like to be a professional basketball player and a neurosurgeon.

Advice to aspiring basketball players?

Always believe in yourself and work hard. It is not how a dog fights; it is the fight in the dog that matters.

Peninah Wanjohi, 17 years.

School: Moi Girls School Nairobi.

Class: Form Three.

Sport: Hockey

Position: Midfielder.

You currently hold the record of being the top scorer in the Nairobi Provincials 2012. How long have you played hockey?

What is interesting is I never thought I would be playing hockey. I have always loved football but the club came to an end. I then decided to try my hand in hockey.

How does it make you feel having won the provincials?

It felt great, the last time my school came close to nationals was in 1998. So we are all very excited and hoping to win the nationals. This year we got a new coach, Mr Walu Olubae, and he helped us grow into good players and made us believe in ourselves as a team.

What is your favourite subject?

Kiswahili.

What is your dream career?

I want to be a lawyer.

Tell us about your basketball training schedule?

We practise for an hour on Monday, Wednesday plus Friday and practise for two hours on Tuesday and Thursday. We do everything from running to squats to sit ups to ball handling.

Apart from hockey, what else do you enjoy doing?

I love to write poems and reading novels.

Anita Zahra Field, 14 years.

Sport: Swimming.

School: Braeburn School.

Osiche Catherine Awino

Position: Team captain and defensive midfielder.

When did you start playing football?

I started playing football in Standard Five. My family and I used to live in Mathare and I would see Dorine Nabwira, who is now a coach at Mathare Youth Sports Association, playing football with boys and she was just as good. So I also started played football hoping to one day to be as good as her.

Your football team is one of the best in Nairobi, how does that make you feel?

It is a nice feeling. Last year in second term we won the football provincials. Even here in Kibera everyone knows that we are one of the best in football (laughs).

What has been your biggest achievement?

Being part of Harambee Under-17 girls’ team. In February this year we got to play Nigeria. That was memorable for me because the Nigerian girls’ team is one of the best teams in Africa.

What do you love about playing football?

It has given me the opportunity to meet so many different people and to travel the world. I have been to Norway, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria because of football.

Is it hard balancing schoolwork and football?

I have found a way to balance both. When I am in class I give my all to class and in the evening from 4.30pm to 7 pm I give my all to football.

What is your favourite subject?

I love Kiswahili and English. I have a thing for languages.

What is you dream career?

I want to be a professional footballer and a businesswoman.

Any other hidden talents?

I am a good cook.

Paige Mbugua, 17 years.

School: Loreto Convent Valley Road.

Sport: Tennis (ranked 10 under 18 last year.

Class: Form Four.

When did you begin playing tennis?

When I was six, I joined because my best friend was joining. I later discovered I not only enjoyed it but that I was very good at it.

Who is you tennis role model?

I love the way Novak Djokovic plays. He has passion for tennis and the way he plays is very enjoyable.

How do you balance schoolwork and tennis?

You just have to be smart about time management. I love both my schoolwork and tennis so I had to find a way to make it work. I carry my books around during tournaments, so when I am not playing I get a chance to squeeze in a read. Now that I am in my last year of high school tennis has taken a bit of a back seat and I do not get a chance to play as much as I would love.

What is your favourite subject?

I love Math because it is constant.

What is you dream career?

I want to be an aeronautical engineer or a pilot.

Advice for aspiring tennis players?

Pick a sport that you love, be disciplined and prepared to work very hard.

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