FIVB Empowerment Programme can unlock Kenya's beach volleyball potential
What you need to know:
- The women’s pair of Ana Paula Sinaportar and Vanessa Muianga has also stepped up this year after finishing third in Agadir last year. They were recently crowned champions of CAVB Zone VI Beach Volleyball Tour after going unbeaten in seven legs.
- Mozambique’s rise as a force in beach volleyball speaks volumes of what the Empowerment Programme can do to a country with the right mindset and leadership.
- Kenya has talented players with the height, physique, jump and skills to become world class beach volleyball players.
FIVB president Dr Ary Graca introduced the Volleyball Empowerment Programme in 2021 with the aim of improving the performance of national teams and helping them reach their full potential.
Malkia Strikers were part of the pilot project that saw Brazilian coach Luizomar de Moura and his technical team handle the national women’s team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and 2022 FIVB World Championships.
Two years after the Empowerment Programme project was launched, Kenya is now ranked 30th in the FIVB rankings and top of Africa after beating rivals Cameroon at last year’s World Championships.
While Kenya has reaped big through the Empowerment Programme in indoor volleyball, beach volleyball remains a step behind despite the women’s national team appearance at the Tokyo Olympics as well as World Championships and Commonwealth Games last year.
The potential in both the men’s and women’s national teams is unmistakable since more players have shown interest in the discipline through the local beach volleyball tour.
The pair of Jairus Kipkosgei and Elphas Makuto won the last leg of the Tour held in Mombasa and are among the young players showing a lot of promise in beach volleyball.
With more advanced coaching, which can easily be obtained through the Targeted Coach Support of the Empowerment Programme, Kenya can become a beach volleyball giant in Africa.
And we don’t need to look far for encouragement. Mozambique has risen to become the top ranked nation in Africa in both men’s and women’s categories thanks to the Empowerment Programme, as envisioned by Dr Graca’s when he came up with this legacy project.
Under Brazilian coach Alexander Pontel, Mozambique have qualified for back-to-back World Beach Volleyball Championships in both gender categories and remain hot favourites to get the sole slot reserved for Africa at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Their men’s senior team pair of Ainadino Martinho and Jorge Monjane settled for silver at last year’s Africa Beach Volleyball Nations Championship held in Agadir, Morocco.
However, they recently won gold in CAVB Zone VI Tour, an indication that they have now come of age after being polished by Pontel who is based in Maputo and trains both junior and senior national teams for at least three days a week.
The women’s pair of Ana Paula Sinaportar and Vanessa Muianga has also stepped up this year after finishing third in Agadir last year. They were also recently crowned champions of CAVB Zone VI Beach Volleyball Tour after going unbeaten in seven legs.
Mozambique’s rise as a force in beach volleyball speaks volumes of what the Empowerment Programme can do to a country with the right mindset and leadership.
Kenya has talented players with the height, physique, jump and skills to become world class beach volleyball players. The natural beaches along the Kenyan coast and the shores of Lake Victoria are also countless.
It’s upon Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) leadership to now apply for technical support in beach volleyball at FIVB's technical and development department led by the indefatigable Steve Tutton who has been so supportive to Malkia Strikers.
A full-time foreign coach will not only be a big boost to our national teams but will also ensure the development of youthful players is closely monitored and aligned to international standards.
Malkia Strikers are currently number one in Africa and what a big honour it would be if Kenya leads the FIVB continental rankings in both beach and indoor volleyball.
The Volleyball Empowerment Programme could certainly takes us closer to this dream. Over to you KVF!