Nairobi — The Kenya national women volleyball team has qualified for the 2006 FIVB World Championships to be held in Japan from October 31 to November 16 next year.
Fans turned up at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Gymnasium to cheer the girls on. They were rewarded with a hard earned victory over Algeria.
But how many Kenyans have bothered to look in the direction of the team since then?
It is important that Kenyans extend their support to the next one year as the sides prepare to take part in the World Championships.
The players need incentives and international exposure that can only come through playing build-up matches against the best teams in the world.
It is worth noting that while Algeria camped in Europe for a whole month preparing for last week's event, the Kenyans only did with two weeks training at Kasarani.
It has always been a norm for local teams to cite inadequate preparation for their failure in international competitions.
A man from the moon would imagine that our teams are never informed about these competitions until the eleventh hour.
But the truth of the matter is that our government and sports officials dilly-dally with the teams' preparation until the last minute when they start to run helter-skelter gathering players from here and there.
These hastily-assembled sides are hardly together for more than three weeks and those who understand sports must be aware that players need to be together for a longer period to mould a winning combination.
Kenyans should wake up and ape other countries when it comes to preparing teams for international events.
Preparations for the World Championships must start now and not later.
Kenya Volleyaball Federation in collaboration with the government should identify players and take them through quality training ahead of the event.
Let us erase the phrase "we were not well prepared" from our sports for us to move ahead.
Last Saturday a little known cafe at Nairobi West- The Little Joe Sports Pub and Restaurant, hosted the Kenya team to a luncheon.
They also pledged Sh40,000 donation. We need more of such gestures if our girls have to go far.