Gaudencia Makokha shares plight plaguing the sport

BEACH VOLLEYBALL Gaudencia Makokha shares plight plaguing the sport

Abigael Wafula • 08:25 - 12.02.2023

Makokha lamented that the lack of sponsors is one of the major problems they encounter.

Beach Volleyball sensation Gaudencia Makokha has called upon the sponsors to come through and offer support to the team as they look to kick off their busy 2023 season where the team hopes to compete at the Africa Beach Games, World Beach Games, and the All-Africa Games.

Makokha, who was part of Team Kenya for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, disclosed that at the moment, no one is willing to help and that makes the sport stagnate. She added that at the moment, their only source of funding is from the Federation as they struggle to make ends meet.

She disclosed that the National Olympic Committee of Kenya sometimes gets on board to help, but that happens on rare occasions.

“We don't have sponsors…this is one of our major undoings. No one is willing to come on board and help. At the moment, the federation is really trying to make sure there is progress. NOC-K also comes through sometimes but only when it is an Olympic event. Most of the time, we are just on our own," Makokha lamented.

Makokha also highlighted that they never get enough time to train ahead of major championships and that leaves them disadvantaged.

During last year’s Commonwealth Games, the duo of Makokha and Brackcides Agala could not proceed to the quarter-finals after losing 2-0 in two of their pool matches to New Zealand and Canada. They, however, secured a 2-1 win over Ghana. They sighted the dismal show to lack of enough training.

“We never have enough training time ahead of competitions. We are normally called for one week or two for training. You meet people you’ve never interacted with before and you have to bond in such a short time. This makes it difficult for us to perform well,” Makokha said.

She also noted that the lack of a state-of-the-art training ground in Nairobi makes it a bit difficult for the players who reside in the capital to train effectively. She said she was forced to move to Mombasa after completely quitting indoor volleyball.

“Most of the players are based in Nairobi and there is no training ground there…this makes their training very hard. They have to cater for their own transport and accommodation when they come to the coast to train. Currently, I am just training alone,” Makokha said, adding that currently, there is no Kenyan beach volleyball league.

“You can’t play indoor volleyball and expect to play well in beach volleyball. Beach volleyball is a bit complicated,” concluded Makokha.