Netball champions Kaya Tiwi face an uphill task in Arusha

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Wednesday, August 14th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Sports
Action between Nyakach Girls from Kisumu and Kaya Tiwi in this year’s national Term Two games in Kisumu. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

National netball champions Kaya Tiwi and Nyakach face a tough moment at this year’s edition of the annual East Africa Secondary School games that start on Friday in Arusha, Tanzania.

The Kenyans, who have been unable to break Uganda’s supremacy since the inception of the games in 2002, will be looking to have a better show than they did in last year’s edition.

Kaya Tiwi, Kenya’s best performing team in the discipline, finished fifth behind the Ugandans, who took the top four spots while Nyakach finished seventh in the eight-team contest.

Ugandans have won 16 titles and Kaya Tiwi coach Maryanne Obonyo says it will take more efforts and hard work to match their efforts.

“We don’t want to raise our expectations and put so much pressure on the girls because beating Uganda in their best sport is not going to be easy. We want to improve and playing in the semis will be a huge achievement for the girls,” Obonyo said.

She added that experience has been Kenya’s main undoing in the sport because Ugandans begin playing netball at a tender age and their education system gives them more years in secondary school.

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“Our girls have not been able to match the Ugandans because netball is Uganda’s favourite sport and they have heavily invested in it. They start playing at a very young age and by the time they are in Form Six, they have developed skills and are too good for our girls.”

Kaya Tiwi are in Group A alongside defending champions St Noa and Buddo School from Uganda, Kilindi from Tanzania and Katoto Secondary School from Malawi.

Malawi is also a netball powerhouse in the continent and their girls are set to cause ripples and make their presence in Arusha felt.

Nyakach are in Group B with East Africa and Uganda’s netball giants St Mary’s Kitende, their compatriots Ngando and the Tanzanian duo of Makongo and Misungwi.

St Mary’s Kitende are the most successful side with 15 titles.

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