Kenya women’s basketball team ready for Deaflympics Qualifiers

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021 00:00 |
Kenya deaf basketball coach Caroline Ouma (left) instructs Mary Apiyo (right) as others watch, during the team’s training at Kasarani Stadium yesterday in preparation for the Africa qualifiers for Deaflympics. Photo/PD/SPORTPICHA

Edwin Otieno

National women’s deaf basketball team coach Carolyne Ouma strongly believes that no team can beat them at home when they are in great form, as the polish up their skills ahead of the Africa Deaflympics qualifiers slated to run between September 11 and 25 in Nairobi.

Kenya has been considered as one of the favourites ahead of the continental qualifiers that will bring together 16 countries.

The competition which will act as a qualifying event for next year’s postponed 24th Summer Deaflympics in Brazil, will see participants take part in football and basketball for both gender.

Though their preparation has been somehow curtailed by lack of training facilities that has forced them to share the Kasarani Indoor Gymnasium court with their men’s counterparts for almost two weeks now, Ouma is confident of a positive outing.

“There is no pressure at all. The only thing that is working on our disadvantage is the court.

We really need to train on a full court, but we are currently restricted to share one court with the men’s team.

The girls are in high spirits but unfortunately we don’t have full advantage of our home court,” said Ouma.

She added: “In terms of preparations, we are not yet there, but I think they are training well and they are improving every single day.

They are picking up the shape well and their skills level is also improving. We are trying to sychronise everything.

“We hope to play and win. We are not training to lose. It is not going to happen.

We have pride at stake and as Kenyans we are going to fight it out to the end. So, we are ready for whichever team is coming.”

The tactician is, however, wary of the threat posed by neighbouring Uganda.

“We expect to get a strong challenge from Uganda and maybe Zimbabwe. But we are ready for the task,” she said.

Ouma went on to single out her captain Mercy Mideva and Merceline Nekesa as some of the players they will be banking on in the championships.

“We have a number of good players led by Mideva and Nekesa whom we expect to inspire the team.

They have been impressive in training and they have worked on their endurance. This championship will remain here, it’s not going anywhere,” she vowed.

But for Mideva, who hails from Kajiado County, the championships will offer them a chance to prove their worthiness at the continental stage.

“The training is going on well. But the biggest challenge right now is sharing the court with the men’s team.

All the same we want to send a statement to the continent by winning the championship,” said Mideva.

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