The Wheelchair Basketball 3X3 national team has qualified for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the women’s category.
This is after the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Commonwealth Games Association of Kenya) applied through a successful bid for a bipartite allocation through the Commonwealth Games Federation.
In supporting the participation of top Commonwealth athletes and supporting athlete performance pathways the Commonwealth Games Federation allocated Kenya with a special invitation place in the female category.
Speaking about the great news, the team manager Alfred Simiyu expressed his excitement.
“For the first time in history we shall have the wheelchair basketball team participate in a major competition. We received the news yesterday and we are still processing it with all the excitement. We cannot wait to go and represent our nation as we aim for a podium finish with our four athletes.”
The team has been training together with their male counterparts at the Nyayo National stadium Gymnasium in preparation for the Games.
The team travelled for qualifications in November 2021, where they beat eat DRC, Gambia and Tanzania 50-43, 45-40 and 48-25 respectively. Their only disappointment was an 80-35 loss to South Africa.
The team currently in training includes, Beth Wanja Wambui, Joyce Ambasa Malanda.
Alice Wanjeri, Stella Titoy, Phyllis Nyambura, Rahel Akoth, Caroline Wanjira, Eunice Adhiambo.
Wheelchair basketball 3×3 will be making their debut in the Commonwealth Games, with the events scheduled to run concurrently with the Basketball 3×3 in Smithfield, located in the heart of Birmingham City Centre starting from the 29th of July to the 2nd of August. The same venue will host marathon and beach volleyball, both in which Kenya will field teams.
The wheelchair team joins their basketball counterparts, who qualified earlier in both mens and womens event by virtue of being second ranked in Africa behind Egypt.
Speaking while issuing a statement on the good news, the Chef de Mission Mr. John Ogola explained,
“As the Commonwealth Games Association Kenya, we’re delighted that we submitted our expression of interest to have more para teams and more team sports included in the Team Kenya contingent. The CGF assessed our submission and allocated slots to Wheelchair Basketball 3×3 team. This is a great opportunity for our athletes. Our main aim stands to give all Kenyan athletes the best chance to represent the country.”
The CDM added that “With this addition, Team Kenya athletes contingent now stands at 150 in 19 sports, as NOC-K prepares to start the residential camp soon, with just 92 days to the Birmingham 2022 Games.’’