Bitok hails NOC-K, KVF and gov’t for seamless Olympics preps
Malkia Strikers head coach Paul Bitok is confident the national volleyball women’s team will improve on their previous shows in the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics, from their quality preparations so far.
Bitok, who returned from Rwanda in 2019 after 10 years of coaching in the East African nation, says the cooperation between the National Olympics Committee (NOC-K), Kenya Volleyball Association (KVF) and the Ministry of Sports could work wonders in the sport if sustained.
Four months before the Tokyo fiesta set for July to August, Malkia had already started their preparations, a plan the veteran coach described as a game changer.
“I have been a national team coach before but it has never been this smooth before, seeing the Ministry of Sports, NOC-K and KVF working flawlessly. This has enabled us to train under a very conducive environment so far, and we have a very good program between now and the Olympics time. The ball now is in our court to deliver,” he said.
Malkia are currently training in a locked camp at the Kenyatta University, ahead of their trip to Brazil before travelling to Turkey for another camp, ahead of the summer games. From Turkey, the team will return to Kenya for a while prior to their travel to Japan, first to camp in Kurume City and finally in Tokyo.
“I believe with the preparations we can win at least three matches or qualify for the quarter finals. If we achieve such with the current generation, we will have made a major step in what we are building because we also have young players in the team who will be around for long,” explained Bitok.
However, while the welfare of the team is all ticked, the coach wonders why the government has taken long to hand him a well-defined contract as a national team coach.
“I was promised I would be given a contract by the Ministry of Sports when I was coming back from Rwanda. I’m still waiting, but I fail to understand why it takes this long. Before PS Peter Kaberia left the Ministry of Sports, he had promised it was almost a done deal but since then there has been no progress. This would have enabled me to work closely with various clubs in player-development programs which I can’t now as I’m tied down to my club KCB,” he noted.
He hopes the support by the Sports CS Amb. Amina Mohammed to the entire team will be replicated to the technical bench, to enable proper long term planning.