Gibo Zachary and Lynette Matheka @PeopleSport11
The battle for national glory and slots to the regional championships starts in Kisumu today as the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) Term Two Games kicks off.
Schools from the country’s eight regions will contest titles in football Under-19 and Under-16 both boys and girls, volleyball boys and girls, netball girls and racquet games (table tennis, lawn tennis and badminton) in the five-day event.
Kisumu Polytechnic will stage volleyball, netball and football Under-16, Kisumu Boys host football Under-19 and table tennis with lawn tennis at Kisumu Day as Lion High School host badminton.
At stake will be honours and tickets to East Africa Secondary School Games scheduled for Arusha, Tanzania next month.
In boys’ football Under-19, Nyanza champions Kisumu Day are hoping to make home advantage count as they eye the title but will have to contend with stiff competition from Group A rivals Dagoretti (Nairobi Region), Ebwali (Western) and debutants Mbooni (Eastern).
The lakeside school, known for producing some of the best football talents in the country is making a comeback to the national games after missing the last three editions. They successfully appealed against Barding’s alleged fielding of ineligible players in the regional final where they had lost 2-0 in extra time.
In their last appearance, Kisumu Day lost in the semi-finals to Pasenga and went on to finish third and in the previous year, they had lost in the final to champions Kakamega High School and went on to finish seventh in the East Africa games held in Tanzania.
Group B has Shimba Hills, former giants St Anthony’s Kitale and last year’s finalists Olbolsat.
In the girl's category, hosts Nyakach, Dagorretti Mixed, Karugwa Girls and Itigo in Pool A while debutants Gesero, Arch Bishop Njenga, St John’s Kaloleni and Njambain comprise Pool B.
Meanwhile, in the absence of defending champions St Anthony’s and Moi Girls Nangili, new champions will be crowned in football Under-16.
In boys’ Under-16, Goseta, Koyonzo, Serani and Gatamahiu are in Pool A while Pool B has North Eastern, Dagorreti High, Aggoro Sare and Machakos Boys.
In girls Under-16, Pool A features Ugari, Wiyeta, Central and Dagorretti Mixed as Kobala, Maeni, Itaara and Waa comprise Pool B.
In volleyball, Cheptil Girls will hope to leave the shadow of Kwanthanze with their real test in Pool A against Bishop Sulumeti, who are making their second appearance, Sega, who are making a return after missing out last year, and last year’s losing finalists Soweto from Nairobi.
Pool B will see reigning East Africa and national champions Kwanthanze, placed in a relatively easy pool, take on Pasenga, Coast Region’s St John’s Kaloeni and a North Eastern representative.