School Games: Why KSSSA must abide by the age limit rule

Oscar Otieno of Laiser Hill Academy in past action against Dagoretti High School [Jonah Onyango]

This year will mark another milestone in the history of secondary school sports when Kenyan students make their debut at the International Schools Sports Federation (ISF) World Games set for Jianjing, China.

As the 2020 Term One games begin at sub-county level across the country, this year’s participants will have everything to play for with their eyes fixed on the ultimate prize of grabbing tickets to the global event.

Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) Secretary-General David Ngugi said they will be looking to feature in many disciplines and students should prepare well and qualify for the inaugural championships in October.

“We expect improved standards at all levels of competition because there is a bigger prize awaiting the winners. In the past, everyone played to qualify for the East Africa games but there is more this year because they stand to make history as the first Kenyan students to feature at the ISF world games,” Ngugi said.

Ngugi shed light on why Kenya must abide by the under-19 age limit saying they have to stick to the rule, which is also the international standard that will be used to clear participants at both East Africa and World games.

“The under-19 age cap is in the interest of our students because it is a requirement to compete at the ISF and Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Association (FEASSSA) organised events,” said Ngugi.

“Just as other national federations adhere to rules by their respective world governing bodies, we are not an exception. For instance, Football Kenya Federation and Athletics Kenya follow the Fifa and World Athletics rules, which enables Kenyan athletes to feature in international events.”

Breaking these rules would automatically deny Kenyans a chance to participate in continental and global events.”

He urged Kenyan students to prepare well for this year’s East Africa games, which will be held in August, in Kakamega.

Meanwhile, KSSSA released pools for this year’s national Term One games to be held in April at Kapsabet Boys and Kapsabet Girls.

Term One games comprise basketball, hockey, rugby 15s, rugby 7s handball, athletics and swimming.

Hosts Rift Valley will field two teams in hockey boys and girls, rugby 15s (boys) and four in rugby 7s to fill in the North Eastern slots because the region doesn’t feature in the two disciplines.

Rift Valley, who were also the 2019 overall champions after dominating both Term One and Term Two games, will be looking to defend the boys’ basketball title won by Laiser Hill Academy, boys’ hockey (St Anthony’s Kitale) girls’ handball (St Joseph’s Kirandich) and athletics.

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