The Kenyan roller skating national team had on November 9, won 3 golds 4 silvers and 2 bronze medals on the sixth day of the inaugural African Roller Games in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital, Kinshasa despite reportedly lacking government sponsorship.
According to the Daily Nation, the team travelled to Kinshasa, DRC in spite of inadequate finances for registration and transport.
Mercy Omwina, a New Horizon Skating Club coach, had to resort to appealing to Kenyans on Facebook for monetary support.
“We are back on road races today, (Friday), keep the team in prayer. We are running short of accommodation money. Kindly support with any amount,” wrote Omwina.
Omwina did not travel with the team to the DRC but followed proceedings from Nairobi.
Since they arrived in the DRC on Monday, October 4, the team was forced to survive on a low-budget after they failed to secure government sponsorship, the Daily Nation reported.
By October 6, the Kenyan team had already scooped five medals.
Teddy Andanje, arguably the best skater in the country, scooped a silver medal in the senior men’s 500m event on Monday.
On Tuesday, Teddy clinched a gold medal in the senior men’s 200m.
In the junior men’s 10,000m race, Jeff Mungai, a fifteen-year-old, added to Kenya’s medal tally with another gold.
On the evening of October 6, Teddy Andanje grabbed another silver medal in the senior men’s 1,000m with Ishmael Imani also settling for a silver medal in the junior men’s 1,000m race.
Team captain Joseph Njenga told CGTN that team trained in and about the tracks at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani due to the lack of a proper line speed stadium track or any other supportive facility for the infant sport in the country.
Joseph reiterated that the team did not get much from the government or anyone else, the team persistently showed up and trained together.
The Kenyan team, however, showed resilience to overcome the financial hurdles to make a mark in the inaugural continntal competition.