The Kenya women’s national beach handball team were recognised for their recent successes at a lavish ceremony in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi last Friday (1 September) in an event attended by the Kenyan President, His Excellency Dr William S Ruto.
In June, the team finished with a silver medal at the second edition of the African Beach Games, held in Hammamet, Tunisia.
This came a few days after securing the same placement at the second stage of the 2023 IHF Beach Handball Global Tour held at the same venue.
The 2023 African Beach Games was the second edition of the continental event. It featured a round-robin group tournament including five teams – Tunisia, Kenya, Mali, Uganda and Algeria – with Kenya losing out in the gold medal decider to home nation Tunisia by shoot-out 1-2 (19:24, 20:17, SO 2:5).
Kenya’s African Beach Games podium spot was a large jump up from their fourth place in the 2019 African Beach Games and has followed an intense development of the sport on the Kenyan sand in recent years.
Alongside successful athletes from the recent World Athletics Championships, women’s volleyball team who won the 2023 Women’s African Nations Championship in Cameroon and others, the Kenyan women’s beach handball national team were represented by captain Michelle Adhiambo and fellow players, including Brenda Ariviza.
In addition, Kenya Handball Federation (KHF) Fixture Secretary and Beach Handball Team Manager Charles Omondi was in attendance alongside Ababu Namwamba (Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sport), Dr Paul Tergat (President, NOC-K) and Francis Mutuku (Secretary General, NOC-K).
On behalf of the team, Adhiambo was presented with a cheque of Ksh3.5 million (CHF 21,400) by President Ruto.
“Every time our national anthem was played, I felt like a global leader in every aspect,” said President Ruto at the ceremony about the athletes representing Kenya on the global stage.
“It wasn’t me, Ababu Namwamba or anyone else who made it happen; it was you – so, you have our goodwill and support because you are great.”
The ceremony was held at the newly-inaugurated Talanta Plaza. The 16-storey building is home to the headquarters of the Kenya Government’s Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts, National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) offices, Sports Fund and a variety of sporting federations.
“This was a great honour for the handball fraternity,” said Omondi about the ceremony. “We sincerely thank the African Handball Confederation (CAHB) and the International Handball Federation (IHF) for giving our teams an opportunity to showcase our ability.
“Special thanks goes to CAHB President Mansourou Aremou for tirelessly working to ensure all countries are given equal opportunity to participate and the IHF for allowing Kenya to participate in the Beach Handball Global tour. Not forgetting NOC-K for their support and allowing our beach handball teams to participate in the African Beach Games.”
“We thank the President and his visionary Sports Cabinet Secretary for awarding our silver medallists and giving us such heroic recognition and support,” added Caroline Nyadiero (KHF Executive Member and Head Coach – Beach Handball) to ihf.info.
“A special shout out must also go to the CAHB and the IHF for working tirelessly to raise beach handball to greater heights. All of this could not have happened without their immense input and support.”
Source: IHF News