Olympics-bound Kenyan team to train at COVID-19 bubble
With only 197 days remaining to the start of the postponed Tokyo Olympics, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has disclosed plans to launch bubble training camps to prepare team Kenya for the Games that is scheduled for July 23- August 8 in the Japanese capital.
According to team Kenya Chef de mission, Waithaka Kioni, the bubble camps will ensure safety for the athletes even as the country still battles the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Because of the challenges of Covid-19, training was disrupted last year and these teams will start training within the concept of bubble training, where they (athletes) will be screened for the virus and thereafter put in camp as we continue to build up towards this Games,” said Kioni.
Kioni who doubles as the president of Kenya Volleyball Federation said they are targeting at least 100 to qualify for the Summer Games with 87 athletes having already sealed their tickets including teams like Malkia Strikers, Kenya Lionesses and Shujaa.
“So far we have 87 qualified athletes from various disciplines. We still have other federations who are still on their qualification paths and we are likely to get more athletes from disciplines such as wrestling, judo, rowing, boxing and athletics. Our target is to have at least 100 athletes to travel to Tokyo,” said Kioni.
While the government and NOC-K is set to cover the budget for the Games, the Committee is also seeking to launch a fundraiser in a bid to rally corporate and well wishers to support the team.
“We will be launching a fundraising either next month or in February and we are urging individual Kenyans and the corporate world to support our team as we seek to do better than the Rio Games,” said Deputy Chef de Mission Shoaib Vayani.