More cash, more teams in the AMACO International Volleyball tourney
Over 50 teams drawn from the East African region are expected to battle it out for honors in the 12th edition of the AMACO International Volleyball Tournament, that will be staged at the Eldoret Polytechnic from May 25- 27 this year.
Speaking in Nairobi during the launch of the event on Monday, AMACO CEO Elizabeth Tanui noted this year’s event is bigger and better from the preparations so far, with more teams poised to take part.
Worth noting, the prize money been increased from last edition’s Sh.400,000 to Sh 600, 000, according to Tanui.
“We have made a difference this year our theme is to nurture talents and so we have increased the number of teams that are going to participate right from grassroots. We have 50 teams from Kenya, and several other entries from different countries, thus it is an international affair,” noted the CEO.
Sponsors Amaco Insurance (Africa Merchant Assurance Company Limited) have pumped in Sh.9.3 million into this year’s event, up from the Sh6.6 Million they offered during the tournament’s eleventh anniversary last year.
The teams are free to enter into either the schools category, colleges category or the clubs category which are each divided into men and women competitions.
Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) chairman Waithaka Kioni thanked Amaco for its continued funding of the tournament for the last 12 years.
“Participation of our teams in this competition has greatly motivated our players. We register profound gratitude to Amaco for making it possible for us to organise one of the biggest volleyball events locally. It attracts a lot of participants and fans, thus playing a major role in growing the sport,” observed Kioni.
GSU , the tournament’s defending champions in the men’s category, have confirmed participation in the event, looking forward to successfully defend their title.
“We are ready for it. Nothing is impossible, we can defend it. We expect to put a more spirited fight than last year,” team captain David Kabenei offered.
Kenya will be represented by among others, Kenya Prisons, Kenya Forestry, Kenya Police, KDF (Kenya Defense Forces), KCB (Kenya Commercial Bank) and KPA (Kenya Postal Authority).
The tournament which aims at nurturing talent in the region is the only event of KVF eight legs open to foreign teams, with South Sudan, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda already confirming participation.
Officials gesture during the launch of the 2018 AMACO International Volleyball Tournament in a Nairobi Hotel on May 21st, 2018. Photo by Carol Kones – Citizen Digital
Meanwhile, former Sports Cabinet Secretary Dr. Hassan Wario says the Kenya has not accorded the sports industry the seriousness it deserves.
Speaking during the launch of the three day competition, Wario decried poor funding of the Ministry of Sports, saying it cripples efforts to conduct multiple international sports activities.
“For many years we have been looking for sponsorships and funding from foreign donors to help us, because the ministry is poorly funded. It is time we supported seriously local sports initiatives if we are to realise the full potential of our vast talents,” Wario stated.
He continued: “In the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Kenya won a total of 17 medals, with only four gold medals. If the sports was taken seriously, the men and women who represented Kenya in Australia would have won more gold medals.”
The current Kenyan ambassador to Austria also revisited the doping menace, underscoring the shame it is causing the Kenya in the global stage.
“I want to advise all Kenyan sportsmen and women that these shortcuts end up in shame. The hard earned reputation over the years is at stake. It is possible, as it was before, to win clean,” advised Wario.
Report by Carol Kones and Robbie Chome