Emergence of Aldrine Kibet and co captured nation’s attention in 2023 but Ugandan schools continued to dominate

SCHOOL GAMES: Emergence of Aldrine Kibet and co captured nation’s attention in 2023 but Ugandan schools continued to dominate

Joel Omotto 12:30 - 30.12.2023

Aldrine Kibet, Amos Wanjala and Alvin Kasavuli were among top talents unearthed in the school games this year but they could still not topple Uganda on the East African front

Kenya witnessed mixed fortunes in the secondary school games in 2023 as while they struggled to win titles in the regional games, a number of talents were unearthed.

School games grabbed the nation’s attention in July and August, culminating in the football championship at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega where St Anthony’s Boys Kitale won the national title courtesy of a 2-0 win over Dagoretti High School while Butere Girls triumphed over Wiyeta in the final.

However, all the top three teams from the national games made it to the East Africa Games staged in Huye, Rwanda in August.

That saw St Anthony’s, Dagoretti and Shanderema make it to Huye while Butere and Wiyeta sealed their ticket in the girls’ category.

East Africa Games struggles

Kenya went into the East Africa Games seeking to reclaim lost glory with St Anthony’s last regional title coming in 2002 while Wiyeta last won in 2017.

However, they were not able to shine despite plenty of promise as Ugandan schools dominated yet again.

Uganda’s St Mary's School Kitende won a record extending 13th boys’ football title after beating compatriots Amus College School, while Kawempe Muslim from the same country won the girls crown after beating Wiyeta in the final.

However, Kwanthanze wiped the tears of Kenyans somewhat whey the claimed the girls’ volleyball title after dethroning compatriots Kesogon who had beaten them in the national final in Kakamega.

In rugby sevens, Koyonzo gave Kenya gold following a resounding 21-0 victory against compatriots Vihiga but Uganda’s St Mary’s Kisubi won the 15s crown after downing Kenya’s Butula Boys. Uganda also won the boys’ basketball 3x3 crown.

Emerge of top talent

But what occupied many Kenyans’ minds was the emergence of new heroes. The year 2023 saw the birth of teenage sensation Aldrine Kibet who became a top trending topic after leading St Anthony’s to a sixth national title with a record 25 goals and 27 assists in the championship.

It earned him a scholarship at the prestigious Nastic Sports Academy in Tarragona, Spain where his star has continued to rise.

He was not alone, however, as schoolmate Amos Wanjala and Alvine Kasavuli also joined him at Nastic.

The three formed part of Kenya’s formidable team that reached the final of the CECAFA U18 Boys Championship before losing to Uganda but there is high hope that they will be part of a successful Harambee Stars in the near future.

There has been an effort from the government to ensure great talents churched from the school games do not go to waste and Kenyans will be waiting for the next crop to emerge in 2024.