WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Kenya, Cameroon Aiming to Make Volleyball History 

Kenya and Cameroon are aiming to make history at the Women’s Volleyball World Championship, which got underway in the Netherlands on Friday.

Both teams are targeting a place in the second round, something no African side has ever previously managed.

Yet they are also keen to seize the chance to learn and develop, as they come up against the best in the world.

“It’s a great opportunity for our team to be facing such a great level – we’re going to be trying to break the ceiling in the future,” Kenya’s Brazilian coach Luizomar de Moura told BBC Sport Africa.

He was speaking after the Malkia Strikers went down in straight sets 3-0 (25-11; 25-17; 25-11) to the Dutch co-hosts on the opening night of the tournament.

“The level of the competition will be really high and today we were facing the home team,” coach De Moura said after the game.

“For the ladies to be facing the best players in the world will be a great opportunity to learn from this kind of experience.”

The game was played in a raucous atmosphere, with a packed home crowd inside the Gelredome – normally the home of Eredivisie football team Vitesse Arnhem.

But the young Kenyan squad dealt with the conditions well, marshalled by De Moura and veteran Kenya captain Mercy Moim, in a tournament being co-hosted by both the Netherlands and Poland.

Moim, who has been in the team for 15 years at African and World Championships and most recently at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, says her role now is to help develop the next generation of players.

“I’m like their mother,” Moim told the BBC. “If you are a mother in a family, you have to be in a good position to teach them.

“To be in training on time, [to] respect even the youngest player, from the young player to the senior players, even the coaches.

“You have to respect each and every person who you meet, that’s how you learn and be in volleyball for many more years.”

Related Articles