Nairobi Water Queens will start their East and Central Africa Handball Club Championships title defence against unfamiliar opponents Winners Team of Rwanda on Tuesday at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda.
Kenya’s representatives arrived in Kigali on Sunday and according to team manager Caroline Kusa only three women teams had confirmed participation by Monday in this championship that will be played in round-robin format.
“It’s also raining here so the weather conditions will not be a problem. We have not played Winners Team before so we don’t know what to expect. There are faces from their (Rwanda) national team and therefore they are a force to reckon with,” said Kusa.
She added: “We want to start our title defence on a high before facing Rwanda University. We have played the students before and we know them very well but we will not underrate them. Our intension is to retain the title.”
Kusa noted fierce rivals Police of Democratic Republic of Congo are yet to arrive in Rwanda.
In the men’s category, APR, Muchimbi and Police all from Rwanda and Nyuki from Zanzibar had confirmed participation.
However uncertainty surrounds the participation of Kenya’s representative Black Mamba with coach Martin Abunde saying there were slim chances that the team will feature in the event.
“We haven’t received communication from our sponsor and I really can’t tell whether we will participate in the event or not. Even if we get the go-ahead to compete in the championship, how are we supposed to make it to Rwanda on time?” quipped Abunde.