Bungoma County's Dorcas Ndasaba in action against Makueni during their women's volleyball final match at the County Assemblies Sports Association (CASA) games in Nakuru on Friday. [Kipsang Joseph,Standard]

Dorcas Ndasaba, popularly known as "The Destroyer," stands as a symbol of prestige, leadership, and unparalleled excellence in Kenyan women's volleyball. 

Her journey, characterised by resilience and an unshakable passion for the sport, has propelled her to a revered status both on the national and international stage.

In the recently concluded County Assemblies Sports Association (CASA) games, the former national volleyball team Malkia Strikers captain and assistant coach prowess took centre stage as she captained the Bungoma County Assembly women's volleyball team to an emphatic victory.

At Nakuru ASK showground, her strategic guidance paved the path to a commanding 3-0 triumph over the Makueni County Assembly in the finals. This triumph served as a testament to her extensive experience and dedication spanning four decades.

 "Our opponents put up a strong fight, but we managed to secure victory in all three sets with scores of 25-10, 25-12, and 25-10," said Ndasaba.

Jesse Wafula, the coach of Bungoma County Assembly, expressed his elation crediting the victory to Ndasaba's experience. Ndasaba currently serves as a nominated MCA in Bungoma County.

"We meticulously prepared for the games, and with a seasoned player like Ndasaba on our team, we harbored no doubts about our victory," said Wafula.

Their journey, marked by wins over Kilifi, Baringo, Nyandarua, and Uasin Gishu, showcased their strategic prowess.

Makueni County captain Magdalene Kamande was quick to concede defeat saying they lost to a better side.

"We displayed consistent excellence from the group stages to the finals. Facing an accomplished team like Bungoma was not easy, and reaching this stage holds its own significance," said Kamande.

While confronting Bungoma County's seasoned players presented a challenge, Kamande found solace in their leap from a third-place finish in 2019 to securing the second spot.

Kamande's sentiments were echoed by her coach Samson Kylo, who said they have gained valuable lessons and experience from the tournament.

The final marked their first defeat in the tournament following victories in the quarterfinals and a dominant performance against Kakamega in the semis.

But at 53 years old, Ndasaba's remarkable journey is underscored by her unparalleled experience spanning over 40 years in the sport.

"I have undoubtedly served as a source of inspiration to the team," Ndasaba shared. 

"Their confidence on the field was bolstered by the presence of a champion among them. My actions on the court were a reflection of my experience, guiding them to improve their skills and foster teamwork.

"I have actively participated in numerous All African Games,  World Cup, and proudly represented my country in the Olympics twice."

Her coaching roles with Rwanda's APR from 2009 to 2011 and Rwanda Revenue Authorities from 2011 to 2017, coupled with her international engagements in Croatia, Turkey, Japan, and Australia, cement her status as a true legend of the game.

Her passion for the sport was ignited during her time at Sirakaru Secondary School in Bungoma. 

"My teacher Paul Wanyama introduced me to volleyball, and I fell in love with the sport. I did very well, and that's when Kenya Railways scouted me before I got a national team call up," recalled Ndasaba.

Ndasaba's versatility on the court remains remarkable up to date.

"I can play in any position on the court," she said. 

"I am an all-round player. In the national team, I played as a left attacker, and in my professional career I played on the right. During my time in Japan, I played as middle-blocker."

Ndasaba also noted the revival of Kenyan women's volleyball, observing, 

"Although volleyball faced a decline in the country for some years, I am delighted to witness the Malkia Strikers making a strong comeback," said Ndasaba in reference to Kenya's recent AFCON triumph in Cameroon.

She emphasised the importance of scouting for talent in remote areas revealing the untapped potential lying beyond urban centers.

"Volleyball stakeholders should take the sport to the grassroots to uncover young, talented players," she asserted. 

"The concentration should not solely remain in major cities like Nairobi and Mombasa; even remote areas like Bungoma, my hometown, harbor abundant talent. We need to have County-level tournaments."

She further advocated for former volleyball players to be given opportunities to lead the sport in the country, highlighting that some current leaders lack an in-depth understanding of the game.

Ndasaba called for the establishment of training camps in each county to nurture budding talents.

"As a sportswoman and now a leader, I aspire for every county to establish training camps. These camps should cater not only to volleyball but also to football, athletics, and other major sports," said Ndasaba.

"It is within these camps that we will nurture young talents. By neglecting this, we risk stifling the potential champions who would represent our country in the future."

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