Gatundu’s Handege Secondary handball team ready to shine in Nationals

Handege Secondary handball team from Gatundu South in Kiambu County during training session. Photo: Kamau Njoroge

Handege Secondary School handball team from Gatundu South in Kiambu County will represent Mt Kenya region in the Nationals slated for Tuesday this week.

The little-known school from the rural village in the Gatundu South stunned giants in the game after emerging winners in the regional games.

The team knocked out Mang’u High in the finals after thrashing them 25-21.

This is not the first time the team qualified for the Nationals as last year they were newbies at the national level where they were eliminated in the preliminaries. The team finished sixth in the games.

However, this year according to their coach Samuel Waweru, the team has prepared adequately and ready to take on handball maestros including Kimilili and Hospital Hill.

Speaking during a training session at the school on Thursday, April 4, Waweru said that his team went into the Nationals last year with fear adding that they faced many hurdles including refereeing, playfield, playtime as well as the weather noting that these were the major impediments to them qualifying for the East African Secondary Schools games.

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“We didn’t have the experience of playing at the national level. Again, the refereeing was very different as well as the playfield and the playtime. This is why we didn’t qualify to represent the country in the East Africa games,” Waweru said.

Waweru sent a warning to their major competitors in the game saying that this year the team is up to the task as they have set their eyes on the East African games.

Similar sentiments were echoed by the school’s games teacher Stephen Njeru who said that the handball team now has the experience of participating in the Nationals and are aware of what to expect.

Njeru said that the school administration has immensely supported the team with handballs, kits and other uniforms to facilitate their training as they seek to emerge victorious in the games.

The team made debut for the Nationals last year. Photo: Kamau Njoroge

“We are very proud and humbled to represent the Central region in the national tournaments. All our players are physically fit and ready for the challenge. This year our main target is to be the qualifying team that will represent the country in the East Africa secondary schools games,” Njeru said.

Njeru also revealed that the team comprises students from all classes, form one to form four, for the sake of continuity of the game in the school.

The team captain, Lawrence Maina who’s a form three, said that the phobia that they had of playing in the Nationals is over noting that they are now confident and well trained to take on other teams.

The school Principal, Daniel Wachira, said that the handball game started gaining momentum since he joined the school in 2022. It was then that the team reached the county finals and emerged position two.

He noted that the school management has invested a lot in promoting the game and assisting the players hone and perfect their talents adding that they are highly optimistic that the team will qualify for the East Africa secondary schools games.

This year, the team aim to win Nationals and represent the country in the East Africa games. Photo; Kamau Njoroge

However, Wachira noted that the derelict state of the school’s playfield, which they share with Handege Primary School, has been a major hurdle to the team and especially when it rains.

“The team has been having difficulties in training due to the deplorable state of our playfield. Right now the field is all muddy due to the ongoing rains and it is the only available playfield for training,” he said.

He called on area leaders led by MP Gabriel Kagombe to intervene and help upgrade the playfield.

By Kamau Njoroge

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Education News - Newspaper Vol 281