Beach handball front and centre at first-ever Kenya beach games

16 Mar. 2023

Beach handball front and centre at first-ever Kenya beach games

The inaugural edition of the 'Kenya Beach Games' will take place from 17-19 March in Malindi, Kenya and will feature women's and men's beach handball amongst nearly 20 different sporting disciplines.

Up to 600 athletes are expected to compete over the three days of competition at the Buntwani Waterfront Park situated in the southeast of the country, just under 600km from the capital city Nairobi.

Beach handball is joined by aquathlon, 3x3 basketball, judo, boxing, wrestling, taekwondo, football, tennis, 4x4 volleyball, rowing, freestyle football, kata karate, kiteboarding and open-water swimming in addition to traditional Kenyan sports, which include Ajua, Kerum, dhow racing and fishing.

Six men's teams and six women's teams featuring six players each (72 players in total) will participate in the beach handball tournaments, which will be played at the Buntwani Waterfront Park.

"We are elated that beach handball is amongst the participating sports," said Caroline Nyadiero, KHF Executive Board member (representing coast region), in charge of beach handball Kenya and Chairperson of the Kenyan Handball Women's Commission, to

"We are going to have several of our national team players participating in the event, such as Derick Otieno, Emmanuel Amani, Neema Nzai, Nickson Oguma and Fordlinton Brayan, for example. 

"The games are a fantastic way of supporting social skills and promoting positive mental health to our players and it is great that we in Kenya are making good use of our natural resources in our coastal region as the Games will blend the sports with our culture."

Games are set to be streamed on the Kenya Beach Handball YouTube channel.

The event is being organised by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) as part of its plans to bid for the 2025 African Beach Games and to fulfil its strategic goals, including the promotion of Olympism in the country.

"Taking the event to the coast is one way to promote sports tourism," said NOC-K Secretary General Francis Mutuku to local media ahead of the event.

"We also would like to fully engage the community around us. By so doing, we will be advancing the Internal Olympic Committee IOC agenda.

"The main objective is to have teams represent us and engage and encourage federations to have athletes take part in the assignment. The beach games entail the principle of low cost because we use the natural resources available, which is good for the environment."

Exactly one year ago the Kenyan Handball Federation successfully completed its first beach handball league. A follow-up league is planned for this year, ahead of two further tournaments later on.

In between the beach games finishing and the new league starting, Kenya will again send both their men's and women's teams to the African Beach Games, the second edition of which will be played in Tunisia in June, with players selected for those teams coming from the Kenya Beach Games.

Photo in courtesy of Handball Federation Kenya