Defending Nyanza Region Secondary School hockey champions Kisumu Day High School will be seeking to retain their title for the sixth consecutive year when the Kisumu County Term One games begin on Thursday at Chemelil Academy.
Kisumu Day has dominated the county hockey games since 2016, winning the title in every year, save for 2020 and 2021 when the games were suspended due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Last year, Kisumu Day defeated Onjiko Boys 4-2 in the final and head coach Booker Odhiambo is ready to guide the team to victory once again.
Speaking to Standard Sports, Odhiambo, who joined Kisumu Day in 2016, said they have set a goal of qualifying for the East Africa school games.
“We are very ready for Thursday. For us, training never stopped even after we exited the nationals last year in Nakuru and the boys have adapted very well," said Odhiambo.
“It has been successful for us since I joined the school seven years ago and it will continue that way because here, my boys eat books and play hockey,” added Odhiambo, who has nurtured many players including national hockey women’s team captain Gilly Okumu.
Kisumu Day will renew their rivalry with Maseno School in Group A that also consists of last year’s runner-up Onjiko Boys and Nyabondo.
Former hockey heavy weights Kisumu Boys are in Group B alongside Otieno Oyoo, Ngere Boys and hosts Chemelil Academy.
Champions Sinyolo Girls will play Koru, Rae and Kisumu Girls in Group A, while Chemelil, Huma, Aheso and Asol face off in Group B.
rugby, defending champions Maseno School will be eyeing a fifth consecutive title as the rugby 15s resumes after three-years out.
The game was classified as high risk-contact sport when Covid-19 struck and was not played in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Despite missing any competitive action for the past three years, Maseno School head coach Steve Oluoch believes they have quality players who will be instrumental in helping the squad maintain their status as county champions as well as regional heavyweights.
“It has been long coming because last year we suffered when the ministry declined to our request to allow us to play rugby 15s despite all sports resuming," he said.
“Nevertheless, we are ready to fight for the title again. Three years is rather long, but the boys have put in good work in training and the last friendly matches we played have helped us tick some boxes on the areas we needed to adjust,” said Oluoch, who doubles up as the Kisumu County Rugby Commissar.
Maseno will face Ngere, Onjiko, Chemelil Academy, Otieno Oyoo, Nyamasaria and Kisumu Central team.
In basketball, Onjiko Boys will be out to retain their title when they play Kasagam, Kisumu boys and Otieno Oyoo in Group A.
Maseno School are in Group B alongside Nyabondo, Ngere and Chemelil Academy.
Defending girls' basketball champions Katolo Mixed will play Dr Aloo Gumbi, Koru Girls and St Barnabas while former champions Sinyolo Girls face Nyakach, St Teressa’s and Oren.