Kenyan journalist and TT administrator Samson Ateka has been appointed the Kenyan Team Manager to the forthcoming ITTF Africa Top 16 Eastern Region qualifiers to be held in Mauritius next week.
Kenya will host the prestigious ITTF Africa Top 16 Championship at the Safaricom Kasarani gymnasium in March 2018.
This will be the fourth time that Ateka, who is also the acting Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (Sjak) Treasurer is handling the national team table tennis team to an overseas trip.
Ateka, better known for his prolific table tennis, boxing and motorsports reportage previously with Kenya’s second leading daily- The Standard and presently The Star, will be handling the national team of Kenya TT for the umpteenth time having previously served in the same capacity in Olympic qualifiers in the run up to London and Rio Olympics.
Ateka is one of the few sports scribes in Kenya who have made it big in sports administration alongside the current International Sports Writers Association (AIPS) Vice President and former acting secretary Evelyn Watta alongside Elinah Shiveka who is the incumbent Kenya Hockey Union vice chairperson.
“I must admit that my appointment came to me as a pleasant surprise. I wish to urge other sports scribes to take up the challenge of transforming sports and this can only happen if we become actively involved in the day to day running of sport,” said Ateka.
Ateka better known as “Attex” in sporting circles currently serves as the public relations officer of Kenya Motor Sport Federation, PR officer of the African Rally Championship Safari Rally (formerly a World Rally Championship event), PR officer of the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally, and indeed an Exco member of the Kenya Table Tennis Association and formerly the PR officer of Softball Federation of Kenya.
This will be the fourth time that Ateka is handling the Kenya national TT team having previously served in the same capacity on the 2012 Final Olympic qualifiers in Doha, Final Africa Olympic qualifiers in 2016 in Khartoum as well as Mapinduzi Cup Championship event in Zanzibar in 2014.
Kenya TTA will be entering a men’s and ladies’ team during the ITTF Africa Eastern Region Championships that takes place in Mauritius from 8th to 15th December 2017.
Kenya TTA President, Andrew Mudibo welcomed the inclusion of new players into the team that will be going to Mauritius.
The Eastern region activities are important for development of our players within the region said Mudibo, who is also the regional President.
The men’s Kenya team has Peter Theuri (Kenya top ranked player), Josiah Wandera (National team player), Brian Mutua (best player in the national league) and Kunal Arora (junior player/ wild card).
The ladies team will comprise of Sejal Thakkar (Kenya top ranked player), Sandra Nyagah (Best player in the national league) and Ivy Makoha (junior player/ wild card).
German trained Michael Kuria will be the team coach.
KTTA President Andrew Mudibo who is also the Regional President and also a Board Member of ITTF will accompany the team.
The team traveling to Mauritius will have four new players wearing the national colors for the first time. The players are Brian Mutua and Kunal Arora in the Men’s team and Sandra Nyagah and Ivy Makoha in the Ladies team.
Brian and Sandra are beneficiaries of the 2017/ 2018 National League after they came out on top as the best players. The national league kicks off in January next year.
Meanwhile, the national team to the Mauritius games will train at the Oshwal Academy from today through to Sunday.
Coach Mike Kuria will take the team through its paces.