Inaugural Kenya Beach Handball League wraps up on the Mombasa sand

30 Mar. 2022

Inaugural Kenya Beach Handball League wraps up on the Mombasa sand

Following the completion of the first stage of the Kenyan Beach Handball League last month, the play-offs took place at the Nyali Beach Hotel in Mombasa this past weekend.

A total of 16 senior and four junior men’s and women’s teams participated in the event with Coast Queens and Saints Mombasa winning the women’s and men’s championships, respectively.

The Coast Queens had brought the only 100% record into the play-offs, having won all six of their games in the first stage of competition and it was not different in the play-offs with the strong team defeating Mtwapa Youths 2-0 in the semi-final and Glorious Queens 2-1 in the final.

“The league has been an all sorts of experience for me that involved learning, correcting and also an ‘unlearning’ experience for me courtesy of the league officials, the coaches and my team at large,” said Coast Queens captain Viona Wandera.

“I started off as the worst player in terms of skill but as the league has come to an end I’m glad to see the progress and the strides I have made. I learned respect and discipline because it remains the only constant thing to do both to my teammates and league officials, especially the referees.

“I’m bubbling over with joy by how far [we have come] as a beach handball fraternity and through us, many people have come to love beach handball games. I’m sure next season we’ll have more teams participating.”

The men’s competition had seen a nervous first stage which saw 28 of the 36 games feature a shoot-out and Pwani University eventually finish top, but they were unable to keep their form into the play-off stage, losing the final to Saints Mombasa 2-0. The Saints had beaten Kizingo Tigers 2-0 in their semi-final.

“The play-offs were very entertaining and we are happy to come out victorious,” said Derrick Otieno, Saints team captain.

“It was a tough final game but I would like to personally thank the match referees and officials for a job well done. Beach handball is vastly growing in the country and I would like to urge other players to keep coming. Finally, my gratitude goes to our able Technical Director, Titus Kesekwa for making it happen.”

The winners will be awarded with their medals and trophies at a forthcoming, star-studded ‘Beach Handball Sports Gala’, with the Kenyan Handball Federation appealing to potential sponsors to support the event.

“With this being our first national Kenyan Beach Handball League, we are pleased with the enthusiasm and the spirit of competition which was exhibited by all the participants across the board,” said Caroline Nyadiero, KHF Executive Board member in charge of beach handball in the country.

“Special gratitude goes to our national director, Charles Omondi, for his immense contribution to beach handball in Kenya which is always appreciated. To the CAHB through its working group member, Titus Kesekwa whose lessons and training were invaluable to us. I would also like to personally thank the Kenya National Olympic Committee, especially their media team and James Were.

“The league was a great success and we look forward to more fruitful engagements in the future.”

Final ranking

Women’s Competition 
1. Coast Queens
2. Glorious Queens
3. Changamwe All-stars
4. Mtwapa Youths

Men’s Competition
1. Saints Mombasa
2. Pwani University
3. White House-Voi
4. Kizingo Tigers

Photo: Kenya Handball Federation