Alexandra Ndolo: Why Cologne-based German-born Kenyan fencer supports Bayer Leverkusen

Alexandra Ndolo: Why Cologne-based German-born Kenyan fencer supports Bayer Leverkusen

Joel Omotto 18:34 - 14.05.2024

German-born Kenyan fencer Alexandra Ndolo may be living in Cologne but supports newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen due to a number of reasons.

Bayer Leverkusen are currently the team on everyone’s lips going by their impressive season and German-born Kenyan fencer Alexandra Ndolo is among those who have had a front row seat to their record-breaking performances.

Leverkusen sealed a first Bundesliga title in their history last month and could end the season with a treble as they are in the Europa League and DFB Pokal finals, all this while staying unbeaten, a record that reached 50 games, following their 5-0 thrashing of Bochum last weekend.

While most Germans are known to embrace the teams in their city or residence, Ndolo, who lives in Cologne, does not follow FC Koln but instead supports Leverkusen and there are good reasons for that.

The 37-year-old is a member of the TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen fencing club which has been key to her fencing career, helping her become a household name that is now set to represent Kenya in the rare sport at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“It is not just a great soccer club, they also have a fencing division and I have been a member of that club for the last 12 years and that has been a great help because even though I had to leave the German structures behind, I can stay in that club,” Ndolo revealed during an interview with NTV.

“They were really nice to me and said: ‘You fence for Kenya now but we don’t care as long as you are still part of the Bayer family and I could keep that.”

With financial challenges making her Olympics qualification journey bumpy, Ndolo is grateful that the Leverkusen club did not abandon her when she switched allegiance to Kenya in 2022 since she still has access to world class facilities that reduces the financial burden on her shoulders.

“We have a training group, I have a coach that I do not have to pay because I am a member and he is employed by the club and all these facilities I can use for free,” said Ndolo, who works under coach Hugo Dergal at the club.

Born to a Kenyan father and a Polish mother, in Bayreuth, a German town in Northern Bavaria, Ndolo fenced for Germany for close to 20 years before she switched allegiance to Kenya in July 2022.

She would get clearance to represent the country at the Paris Olympics in June 2023 before sealing her ticket to the Games in March this year.

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