Fresh from winning silver at the Africa Ice Stock Sport over the weekend, team Kenya will be chasing good results at the three international tournaments ahead of them.
Kenya’s Ice Stock president Tim Ngugi said they are preparing to compete well at the tournaments that kick off next month at the China Cup in China.
“We are preparing well for the championships after we were invited. Our team has been performing well and this landed us an invitation to China Cup,” said Ngugi.
During the Africa Championships, Kenya accumulated eight points to win silver at the championships held at Moi Sports Centre, Kasarani last weekend after finishing behind champions Namibia on twelve points as Gabon ended the podium on two points.
Ngugi, who learnt the sport while a student at Leipzig University, Germany while doing a course in International Handball Coaching, he decided to introduce the sport in Kenya in 1999 but it has not gained much publicity as expected.
“My wish is to have this sport spread in all counties in the next 5 years as we expect to raise the membership to about 50,000 by then. Am also expect to have adequate government assistance on its growth,” said Ngugi adding that they expect to have it introduced in primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary institutions by then.
With his ambitions to spread the sport, the federation will be taking 4 men and 4 women for the inaugural China Cup in Harbin that starts on 12th October to 21st October.
He says the success in China will be part of their preparations for World Championships in Regen, Germany in March 2020 where 14 players will be making into the team.
“With such events, it is our hope that we shall for the first time participate in the Winter Olympics in 2026 in Italy a place we have played twice before,” added Ngugi.
He says that they build on the Africa Cup held last weekend, which was very successful, with players putting in all they had in terms of resources and play.
“We have been all over Europe where we play on Ice and represented the country very well with 90% financing coming from individual players.
Just like many sports federation in the country facing registration challenges to meet Sports Act 2013, Ice Stock is not left behind, facing various financial challenges.
“We are facing financial challenges. Once we get registered with Sports Registrar (a very difficult task for many Federations). We also lack playing grounds,” concluded Ngugi.