Bitok cautiously optimistic ahead of sports restart

National women’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok is cautiously optimistic ahead of the anticipated sports return but he says will not rush to have Malkia Strikers back on the court.

Bitok says the buck stops with the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) on when Malkia Strikers will kickstart their Olympic Games preparations, if the government gives the green light for the sports resumption in the country.

Volleyball stakeholders Wednesday gave their views on the draft restart guidelines released by Sports CS Amina Mohammed last week. The CS gave all sports stakeholders a window of seven days to give their views on the report before the final directions are outlined.

“We’ve given out our recommendations to the federation and president Kioni (Waithaka) will present them to the ministry but what we discussed was how safe volleyball can resume and not specifically about national team.

“I believe when the government gives the final guidelines of restarting sports activities, the federation will also give us the way forward as soon as possible because we need early preparations ahead of Olympics,” he told Citizen Digital.

KVF has already set the month of October as the tentative action-return date for the National League season should the government give the go-ahead for sports restart.

“We discussed on how the new format of KVF league will be implemented we want to align our calendar with conformity with that of International Volleyball Federation,” he added.

The federation nullified the 2020 season in June after the government maintained the ban on social gatherings including sporting activities due to the continued rise of the coronavirus cases in the country.

Recently, Kenya’s team captains have expressed their fears they might be under-prepared for the Olympic Games if the sporting ban continues to remain in force.

As global sport returns, Kenya’s sportsmen have been kept off the courts and pitches following a delay in the formulation and release of rules that would guide safe resumption.