'Please stick with Malkia Strikers', Kaberia pleads with Bitok - Beaking Kenya News

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Thursday, 3 October 2019

'Please stick with Malkia Strikers', Kaberia pleads with Bitok

Kenya's women volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok (right) and his assistant Japheth Munala display their African Games medals on September 2, 2019 from Rabat, Morocco at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Naiorbi. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |
Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia and Kenya Volleyball Federation president Waithaka Kioni on Thursday united in calls to have Paul Bitok rescind his decision to quit as the national women’s volleyball team coach.

Bitok, who guided the Malkia Strikers to the African Games title in August before leading the team in the recently concluded FIVB World Cup in Japan, said on Tuesday that he was stepping down as the team's caretaker coach but would be available in an advisory role should the federation need his services.

Speaking on Thursday during the team's luncheon at a Nairobi hotel, Kaberia said he will engage President Uhuru Kenyatta and see if they can find a way forward.

“Please stick with the team. I’m sure after talking with the president we will have a solution. But as a ministry through the Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed we want to recognise and appreciate the team for what you have done,” pleaded Kaberia.

“Even as we continue to work on the stadiums across the nation, we are keen on ensuring that the volleyball facilities form part of the stadiums so that the sport can be played across the nation.”

OLIVE BRANCH

Kioni extended an olive branch to Bitok saying he had steadied "a ship that was about to sink" and it was only fair that the ship remains firm.

“Bitok coming to the team was timely, this after the departure of FIVB attached coach Shaileen Ramdoo. He took over the team went to Morocco and helped the outfit to retain the African Games title before he proceeded to Japan and with the massive competition at the Worldwide stage the team managed to win one match,” noted Kioni.

“We can’t afford to mess with the current momentum in the team. And that’s why I’m appealing to you that you reconsider the move. We know we don’t have a binding contract with you and that explains it all but we are keen to qualify for the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics and really you have to be part of the process.”

Reached for comment, Bitok said he is ready to work with the team if offered a contract.

The African qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Games will be held from January 6-12 in Cameroon.

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