Deaflympics: Women football team leaves for Brazil

Deaf football team

A section of the nation women's Deaf football team at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on April 25, 2022 ready to depart for the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Brazil.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • The team's first batch of 15 players and four officials departed Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 6pm on Monday
  • Under the tutelage of coach Ben Bella, the team is gracing the global championships for the first time ever
  • They will square it out with hosts Brazil, Poland, Japan and the United States in the competition which will be played in round robin format

The national women’s Deaf football team was Monday evening in high spirit, as it departed the country for the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Brazil.

Caxias Do Sul is the main host city for the Games scheduled for May 1 to 15.

Neighbouring cities of Farroupilha and Flores da Cunha will also host some events of the delayed global championships.

The team's first batch of 15 players and four officials departed Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 6pm on Monday.

The second batch of three players and seven officials leave on Tuesday 1am.

Under the tutelage of coach Ben Bella, the team is gracing the global championships for the first time ever.

They will square it out with hosts Brazil, Poland, Japan and United States of America in the competition which will be played in round robin format. 

The national men's Deaf football team failed to clinch a ticket to the Games. 

Speaking moments before they boarded their flight, coach Bella and team's captain Emily Adhiambo called for support from Kenyans, during the Games, promising a good performance, despite being underdogs.

"For the three weeks we have been in camp, the players have really pushed themselves. I can say we are about 80 percent ready," said Bella.

"The government has facilitated a good number of days for us to acclimatise with the weather in Brazil. I believe a week is enough to be in good shape and tackle Japan in our first match on May 3...We are going to this tournament as underdogs but my team is well prepared and I believe we will compete and post a good results," he added. 

Adhiambo, who turns out for local side Flamingo Deaf Women's football said they will strive to bag a medal at the competition.

“The coach has selected the strongest team and we have also been training hard in camp so we expect to play well against our opponents. I have been encouraging the team to focus only on wins…We expect to win gold, silver or a bronze medal."

After their opening match against Japan on May 3, Kenya will take on Brazil a day later.

They will then clash with Poland and USA on May 7 and 9 respectively. 

Since the matches are being played in a round robin format, coach Bella's charges only need to register two victories to be in the medal bracket.

Athletics (men and women), basketball (men and women), handball (men and women) and golf (men) are the other Kenyan teams expected to travel in the course of this week for the championship.

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