SCHOOLS: St Joseph Girls Kitale out to rule Rift Valley Region games

St Joseph Girls School Kitale hockey team celebrate after a past win. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

St. Joseph Girls Kitale is gearing up for yet another exhilarating showdown as they prepare to storm the 2024 Rift Valley Region Secondary School Term One games, set to commence next week on Wednesday at Kapsabet Boys in Nandi County.

With their eyes firmly set on the prize, the girls from St. Joseph are poised to make a resounding statement in the regional arena once again.

Fresh from dominating the Trans Nzoia County Secondary School games last weekend, St. Joseph are determined to make a significant impact at the regionals, bringing three powerhouse teams in hockey, handball, and basketball.

St. Joseph Girls' hockey team made a statement last weekend by overpowering former East African champions Trans Nzoia Mixed with a resounding 4-1 victory, retaining their title with style.

This win is a testament to their preparation and determination to excel not only at the regional level but also on the national and East African stages.

Their goal is clear: to dethrone the reigning champions, Nyamira Girls from Siaya, who currently hold both the national and East African titles.

John Lusaka, the architect behind St. Joseph’s hockey team's success, shared his insights on their preparations for the upcoming regional games.

"We are fully committed to dominating the regional games just as we did in the county games. Our sights are set on the national and East Africa titles," he stated.

Joy Akala of St Joseph Kitale (left) and Luveta Phylis of Tigoi Girls battle in hockey match last year. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Lusaka, who is assisted in the technical bench by Bernard Kipruto and former Lakers Hockey Club captain Linnah Baraza, emphasised a rigorous training regimen aimed at ensuring the team is ready to face and overcome any challenge, particularly the formidable Nyamira Girls.

Reflecting on their previous encounters with Nyamira Girls, Lusaka highlighted their competitive spirit, having played them to a draw both at the nationals and East Africa level last year. This year, they have also drawn twice during friendly matches in Turi.

Despite their strong opponents, Lusaka confidently remarked, "We are not afraid of Nyamira Girls. Our encounters last year showed that we are equals, and this year, we aim to tip the balance in our favour."

The support from St. Joseph Girls Principal, Rosebella Orwaru, has been pivotal in the teams’ development, as noted by Lusaka.

"Principal Orwaru's heartfelt support and the December training camp she facilitated have been key in our preparation across all sports disciplines," he expressed, highlighting the comprehensive approach to sports excellence at St. Joseph.

Lidiah Juma of St Joseph Kitale and Nyanza's Miranga School student Sharon Oyaro in action during a handball match at Hill School last year.[Peter Ochieng, Standard]

St. Joseph's handball team, under the guidance of coaches Maureen Sitati and Edwin Ademba, aims to maintain their dominance after defeating Nabunga Secondary to retain the Trans Nzoia County handball girls title.

As reigning national champions, they are determined to win the East African title after finishing sixth last year.

"Our goal is clear: to return to East Africa and bring home the title. Our preparation and dedication have never been stronger," stated Sitati.

The basketball team, led by coaches Patrice Kisaka and Arnold Sitati, is also eyeing an improved performance at the regionals and beyond.

After a commanding 50-30 victory over St Brigids Girls to secure the Trans Nzoia County basketball girls title, the team is determined to surpass their sixth-place finish at the nationals last year.

"We are the defending Rift Valley champions, and our aim is to build on that success and go even further this year," Kisaka shared.

As the Rift Valley regional games approach, St. Joseph Girls Kitale stands united, with each team supporting one another in their quest for glory.

Their remarkable achievements at the county level serve as a foundation for their aspirations at the regional, national, and East African levels.

With a combination of strategic preparation, unwavering support from the school's administration, and the dedication of students and coaches alike, St. Joseph Girls Kitale is a formidable contender in the upcoming games, ready to face any challenge that comes their way.

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