When Trans Nzoia Machines finally debut at next month’s Kenya Handball Federation National League, it will be a dream come true for the players.
Started in 2017 as Hakasa Academy with just 20 players, the club has grown in leaps and bounds, acting as feeder team to secondary schools handball teams and league sides. The academy has players in both primary and secondary schools drawn from around Kiminini, Trans Nzoia County.
National secondary schools girls’ and boys’ handball champions Moi Girls Kamusinga High School and Hospital Hill High School are among the beneficiaries of the academy. Others include former champions St Joseph’s Girls High School and Sega Girls High School.
Now boasting of over 200 players, the founders of the academy just wanted to give young boys a chance to play handball and pursue education, but have now caught the eyes of the Trans Nzoia County government who have now adopted the side and will support it ahead of their league debut.
Trans Nzoia County Executive for Gender, Youth and Sports, Chanelle Kittony said investing in the team is a step in the right direction.
"We want to improve the fortunes of the youth in the county and what greater way than investing in their talents," she said.
Excitement is building at the team’s training base in Mufutu Primary School in Kiminini with the players eager to showcase their talents on the national stage.
Head coach Davis Wafula believes they will give a good account of themselves.
“We are more than just a team, we are family and look after each other. The boys have shown hunger, passion and I believe they can mix it up with the top teams in the national league,” said coach Wafula.
“We have been working towards this for the last five years and I know it will be an awesome experience for everyone associated with this team,” the coach said in a recent interview.
They are not afraid to set targets and have set their sights on a top six finish in the league which should be enough for them to qualify for the Super Cup event, which acts as a curtain raiser for the national league.
Some of the top players that have come from the academy include under-20 international Kevin Wasike Masinde, Derrick Simiyu, Amos Okwako, Collins Barasa and Collins Simiyu.
Hospital High School principal and the academy’s patron, Ken Bunyasi said the support from the county government could not have come at a perfect time.
“I think the support will take the academy to the next level and we shall be able to produce more talents who will be able to help the sport grow in the country,” Bunyasi said.
“Now the demand for players is high with more schools interested in players so that they can improve their sides for the national and regional events. Buru Buru Girls in Nairobi have contacted and want about five players for their team,” Bunyasi added.
Hospital Hill also features in the national league and are fondly referred to as Inspired.
The academy chairman and technical director, Wesley Sanya said plans are in top gear to start a girls’ team next year.
“It is only fair that we have both teams so that we can ensure that we give everyone an equal opportunity at playing the sport,” Sanya said.