By Timothy Olobulu
New Kenya women's volleyball coach Gideon Wasama Chenje has said that he is working hard to bring a difference to the team after last year's mixed fortunes in international competitions. The coach who is now in his second week of training with the team has expressed his happiness at the appointment by the volleyball federation.
Chenje was appointed after coach Paul Bitok was recalled by his employers in Rwanda. David Lung'aho who was the coach before Bitok arrived and pushed him to the assistant was shown the door as Chenje took over.
"The team is responding well to training and I am glad. We started off on Wednesday last week though we did not have a full house but as from Friday, I had all the players report to camp. I want to get to see them for the whole of this week before I decide on my final list of players for the Algiers games", said Chenje who is also the Prison's men volleyball team coach.
The team is preparing for the Olympic Qualifiesr in Algiers slated for the 27th of this month and coach Chenjes is hoping for a better show than their last encounters in 2008. In that year, Kenya lost to Algeria 3-1 in the finals and failed to make it to the Olympics. This year, they have played against Algeria twice and have lost once, winning one. They beat Nigeria in the African Cup played at the African Nazarene University before losing to them in the World Cup in Japan.
"I was just looking ath the performance in the All African games; We lost to cameroon in the Semi's and Algeria ended up thrashing them in the finals. In the world Cup, they also lost to Algeria. We want to aim at beating them in the qualifiers because they were the same team which denied us a chance to go to the Olypmics in 2008", he adds.
The team in training also consists of three youn volleyballers from Kwanthanze secondary school who finished 4th in the Secondary school games. According to Chenje, the trio; Yvone Wavinya, Faith Kimongo and Ann Lowem have been brought to be nurtured and gain experience.
"They have very good potential so we brought them in on request of their school so that they can gain some experience. But it will take them a while before they fit into the big stage so we have to take them one step at a time", said Chenje.