NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 14 – National women’s volleyball coach Paul Bitok has thanked the Kenyan embassy in Brazil for a constant supply of maize flour that has enabled the team enjoy their favourite meal of ugali.
Bitok said they have felt at home, thousands of kilometres away in South America, thanks to a familiar diet, which has aided their preparations for the World Championships in the Netherlands and Poland.
“They (the embassy) have been providing the team with maize flour and we had Ugali every weekend which made us feel at home. We have travelled different countries but we have never had such support that you have given us,” he said.
On Tuesday, Malkia Strikers received a visit from Kenyan ambassador to Brazil, Lemarron Kaanto, at their residential camp in Sao Paulo.
The ambassador flagged off the 14-woman squad ahead of their trip to Serbia, later on Wednesday, where they will play two more friendlies between September 15-19.
The team has been in a two-month training camp in Brazil during which they have played a series of friendlies against local sides to gauge themselves.
In their latest match on August 24, the ladies walloped local club Vinhedo Volleyball Club in straight sets of 28-26, 25-13 and 25-23.
Bitok and the technical team promised the ambassador and fans that they will fight hard to make a statement at the World Championships.
“As the technical team, we assure you of a good result at the championship. We thank you once more and may God bless you,” the former coach of Rwandese side APR said.
On his part, Kaanto expressed his happiness at visiting the squad for the second time and wished them all the best as they embark on their world title campaign.
He also thanked local clubs, Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) and other entities that have supported the team in their preparations.
Kenya kickstart their campaign in Group A against hosts Netherlands on Friday next week before squaring up to Belgium, fellow Africans Cameroon, European champions Italy and Puerto Rico in their subsequent pool matches.