Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) Hockey champions St. Anthony’s High school, Kitale and KSSSA rugby15s silver medalist Menengai High school will be defending the Rift Valley Secondary Schools Sports Association (RVSSSA) titles when the championships kick off on Tuesday at St. Patrick’s High School Iten and Tambach Teachers Training College in Elgeyo Marakwet County.
RVSSSA championships are more competitive compared to national championships because of the number of counties that form the region. Rift Valley has 14 counties, who will be battling out for a single slot for national championships.
Under the tutelage of Kevin Lugalua, Kitale won the regional title on their home ground last year to book for national slot and defeated Upper Hill for the national title.
“Our focus is not RVSSSA title but we want the national title. The team is in high spirit ahead of the championships which are very competitive in nature,” said Lugulua on Thursday morning.
The Trans based school will face off with Kajiado and Kericho county champions Entarara and Kabianga Boys respectively in pool D encounter that will be played at Tambach ground.
“We are set and we will be attacking each game like a final because you cannot tell how the opponents have prepared themselves for the championships,” said Lugalua.
Other Hockey teams include hosts Tambach and Singore girls from Elgeyo Marawket, MOAS and Hill school from Uasin Gishu, Utumishi Boys and Njoro girls of Nakuru, Baringo’s Emining and Kituro boys and girls, Bomet’s Kapkesossio (Boys) and Mulot girls. Nandi will be represented by Laboret boys and Tachasis girls.
Menengai, who will not be having the rugby15s team this year will be yearning for another title in rugby7s. in a rotational formula, the school competes in 15’s and 7s in alternating years to give chance each student to compete in the game.
School head coach Kennedy Njagi was optimistic that they will win the title and represent the country at the East Africa School games, the way they did in 7s.
“Since we started school games, we have not conceded any score and we want to extend the same to the regions. The players are well prepared for the event,” said Njagi.
Menengai edged out former champions Kakamega High school at the semifinal but lost to Upper Hill at the national level.
“We had minor mistakes before losing but we want to do well this year,” said Njagi.
RVSSSA chairman Kipchumba Maiyo said the championships will be so intense since we only need one team to represent the region at the national level.
“These championships are greater than the nationals. Out of 14 counties or teams, we only need one from each category for the nationals,” said Maiyo.
Menengai will lead pool C against Bomet’s Longisa Boys and Nandi’s Laboret boys.