For the last couple of months, the Kenyan sporting scene has been treated to rare phenomenon - our sports men and women excelling at the global stage and in uncharted territories. To start with Kenya’s national women’s volleyball team has shown that with great will power and grit, you can exceed the wildest of dreams.
After winning their 9th continental championships hosted in Nairobi in June 2015, the ladies affectionately known as Malkia Strikers have gone on to conquer new ground. In winning the continental championship, the team ensured qualification to the Federation of International Volley Ball (FIVB) Women’s World Cup to be held in August in Japan.
To add to that, another bit of history was made as the Malkia Stars qualified for next year’s FIVB World Grand Prix Group II - this is after they captured the FIVB Grand Prix level III Gold medal in Canberra after beating Peru, Australia, and Algeria amongst others.
Beyond the continental challenge, our ladies had not even won a set at the international stage. Now, that little misdemeanour, has been corrected in the history books and the ladies are writing a new script.
The Malkia Strikers will face fabled teams in women’s volleyball such as Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, Netherlands among other top European, North American and South American teams in 2016. This is a much needed attention for their international exposure, and will greatly help their preparations in qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Brazil.
What the team has shown is that with the right mindset, great team effort, and a winning mentality, it is possible to conquer uncharted waters.
Julius - The YouTube Man – Yego: if you don’t know him by now, well we don’t know where you’ve been. This is a man who decided to go it alone and stop complaining about not getting the right coach or technique. He’s made history by breaking national and continental records – this despite his “self-coaching” methods, all learned from YouTube.
Yego has defied our own Kenyan traditions of producing track talents, and has become a major star in the field event of javelin. In June 2015, he again took the world by storm by achieving the longest throw (91.39m) in the last 9 years at the British Grand Prix in Birmingham. Yes, he’s from our backyard and uses the Internet to train. After winning the 2011 All-Africa Games men’s javelin gold in Maputo, critiques argued he was a flash in the pan. Not anymore!
As we have continually said,
We at Icon Sports applaud our Kenyan volleyball queens and javelin thrower Julius Yego for their exploits on the international stage. Theirs has been a labour of love and their rewards have been there for all to see. We pray, as the All Africa Games approach, that we shall see similar feats from other Kenyan sports men and women – it takes the right mentality to get the desired results and to move mountains.
It has been an exciting half-year for Kenyan sport and it can get even more exciting in the last half of 2015!