31 January 2009
KENYA : Schools games body worried over no show
With the Nairobi Secondary Schools Sports Association’s first term games already underway, the issue of teams failing to honour their basketball fixtures has again come to haunt the association.
Hillcrest and Aga Khan High opted out of last year’s basketball season. Kenya Muslim is the latest team to concede a walk-over to Nairobi International School on Tuesday evening.
According to the Nairobi Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) secretary general Moses Mbuthia, this trend will adversely affect the future of basketball in the city, as well as having individual talent go to waste.
“It’s quite alarming to realise that some schools aren’t taking their fixtures seriously. Whereas schools in other Provinces are busy recruiting and introducing the game to their students, others are losing interest,” lamented Mbuthia.
Echoing the secretary’s sentiments was Nairobi International School director, Radhika Lee She said the withdrawal of teams from the league was a big blow to the development of the game and should be discouraged.
“This is worrying. Where will the national team get new players from, if some schools aren’t taking basketball seriously? This clearly makes individual talent to go to waste,” the director said.
This is a worrying trend. Going by the past statistics, the number of teams that are taking part in the basketball season is going down. Whereas 38 schools had participated in the 2007 qualifiers, this year has 32 same as last year.
Eight matches will be played today as city schools launch their preparation for the national games set for Eastern Province in April. The 32 schools have been divided into eight pools of four teams each.
The first round matches which started last week are scheduled to run until February 19, while the second round duels to be played at NIS and Strathmore School grounds, are planned to start from February 28 to March 7. They will involve 16 teams.
The quarter-finals will be played on March 14, semi-finals on March 21 with the play-offs and finals being held on March 28. The winners of the Nairobi tournament will represent the province during the nationals to be held in Embu in April.
NSSSA fixtures secretary, Peter Manundu said venues for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final will be neutral and the participating teams will be notified at a later date.
“Venues for knockout matches will be such that none of the qualifying teams will enjoy home advantage,” he said.
Dagoretti High School vs. Karengata Academy, Nairobi International School vs. Kahawa Garrison, Parklands High School vs. Sunshine School, Uhuru High School vs. Ofafa Jericho High School, Hillcrest Academy vs. Light Academy, Langata High School vs. Hospital Hill, Muhuri Muchiri vs. Kangemi Secondary and Kitsuru vs. Eastleigh High School.