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All eyes on city schools as games begin

Nairobi secondary schools are ready for the Metropolitan Region Term One ball games that kick off in Machakos.

The Metropolitan Region comprises Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos and Makueni.

Nairobi will be represented by boys’ national basketball champions Upper Hill, Moi Forces Academy, Nairobi basketball girls champions Parklands Arya, Buruburu Girls, Lenana High School, Pangani Girls, Moi Girls and Hillcrest School. 

The 15s rugby champions St Mary’s as well as the losing finalists Nairobi School are part of the team.

Other teams will compete in swimming, decathlon, heptathlon and cross-country, for slots to represent the region at the national games set for Mombasa from April 14 to 19.

The games have become more competitive since the adoption of the new format in which regional champions, rather than the provincial ones, take part in the national championships.

The new system was started last year in line with devolution policies.

This now means that rivals clash early on before the national games, as was seen last year when basketball giants Upper Hill from Nairobi County and Kajiado’s Laiser Hill met.

The two are set to rekindle their rivalry. Upper Hill carried the day last year but Laiser Hill will be plotting revenge this time round.

Dominated opponents

Previously, the two would only meet at the national stage. It means one heavyweight will have to be eliminated as the other proceeds to the national games.

Nairobi schools dominated their opponents last year as they won the basketball, girls’ and boys’ titles, hockey, rugby and swimming. Other participants were left scratching their heads.

City schools are hoping for a repeat performance and will be leaving nothing to chance when the games get under way, hoping to carry all the titles at Machakos High School.

Upper Hill, who won their maiden national basketball title last year when they beat Lake Region’s Maseno High School 58-40 in the final at Mang’u High School will start as favourites to retain their regional crown.

Coach Ronny Owino said that his team would not be complacent in their matches and shall approach each games as if it were a final.

“We are the national champions and everyone expects us to do well, we are not underestimating any school and shall take every game seriously as we look forward to the national games,” said Owino.

Upper Hill thrashed Moi Forces Academy 71-11 in the Nairobi finals two weeks ago and the two could yet meet again in the final on Sunday.

Parklands Arya Girls are emerging as a new force in Nairobi secondary school girls’ basketball and will be looking to do well in Machakos.

Parklands humiliated former longtime champions Buru Buru Girls in the finals, winning 62-39 to announce their arrival. The team, coached by Geoffrey Waloma, was unheard of a few years back but are now the Nairobi queens.