All is set for this year’s East Africa University Games that kick off today at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Kenyatta University.
According to the games’ secretary general, Simon Munayi, 43 universities had by yesterday confirmed participation in the championships that will bring together universities from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
“Preparations are over and we are expecting officials from participating nations. Teams will compete in 18 disciplines, with most matches being hosted at the JKUAT grounds, while others will be at Kenyatta University.
“So far, 36 teams have confirmed participation in football, which means, we will have many matches. Athletics and badminton will be held at Kasarani Stadium, but all final matches will be at the JKUAT grounds,” he said.
Munayi said they expect more than 4,000 participants in the biennial games that will end on December 22. Uganda’s Ndeje University, who won the last edition held at Uganda Christian University (UCU) in 2014, have dominated the games with ease.
“Ndeje have been very strong during the last nine editions, but we hope our local universities will use their home advantage and outdo the visitors. I trust Kenyatta University will give Ndeje stiff opposition in the games. All in all we pray to have a successful event,” said Munayi.
JKUAT’s director of sports Moses Ondeng said the institution is ready to host the games.
“We have prepared well and are expecting a successful competition. We want to make sure we have a successful event. Plans are in place to make sure all participants are comfortable throughout the tournament,” he said.
Teams were expected to arrive yesterday ahead of the games that start today from 10am.
Strathmore University handball team Peter Mwathi said his charges are ready for the regional games, insisting they have prepared well.
“We are ready for the challenge ahead. We took part in the Jamhuri Day Open over the weekend where we lost in the final to National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). It was a good test for us and we have known our strengths and weaknesses. This will help us as we start our campaign for the regional title today,” he said.
Football, basketball, volleyball, handball, hockey, chess, karate, badminton, tennis, softball, table tennis, woodwall, netball and scrabble.