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20 March 2012
It was a crucial moment when the Kenyan National team setter Jane Wachu shifted to volleyball while she was involved before in other sports like football and Athletics but at that time she didn’t realize that she will be one of the pillars of the Kenyan volleyball National team years later and she will be the African champion at both club and national team levels.
When Wachu was 8 she became famous for her sprinting ability while she was a student in the primary school. At that age she was much faster than her colleagues and that property attracted the physical education teachers to choose her in the Athletics team to run in the sprints events.
“The teachers thought I’m talent to run in 100 and 200 m races as well as the long and high jump and I was already training for these kinds of events for years later,” remembered Wachu while she was thinking about her sports career.
What was more confusing to her is being involved also in the football team of her school and through which she was chosen also for the selected team of her region. “When I have become 16 years old I had to choose between volleyball, football and athletics and it was the crucial moment when the two coaches of the national team David Lung’aho and Paul Bitok visited me at school to choose me for the first time in the Kenyan volleyball national team. I was very happy with this news but I was confused because they told me I have to leave the other sports and concentrate only on volleyball.” Wachu Commented.
She didn’t think for a long time because she already preferred volleyball than others and she feels that it will be her future sport.
“I took my decision in few minutes and even when the Athletics coach asked me to participate in a sprint race I told him that my career in this sport is over and I have to concentrate on my main sport volleyball. Really I’ve got a lot of benefit from Athletics and football; they gave me the flexibility and the speed that I used properly in volleyball.
She started her career as an attacker in her club then her coach advised her to shift to the setter’s position as it the best to use her Athletic abilities.
When she was only 18 she had become a standing player in the Kenyan volleyball national team. In 2006 she played to the Kenya Pipeline, the club having the record of winning the African Club Championship title.
“After graduation I had a job of officer at Kenya Prisons and I decided at that time to leave Pipeline to represent Prisons where I work. It wasn’t an easy decision because Pipeline was the biggest Kenyan club and also the best in Africa but I had to start a new challenge in Prisons team in 2007.
It was only a year later when prisons won the African Club Championship in Cairo in 2008 taking over the giants Al Ahly of Egypt and Mouloudia of Algeria.
Wachu led again her club to win the African Club Championship to consecutive times in Mauritius 2010 and Kenya 2011 raising their record to three cups in four years. The last two titles were impressive because they gave the Kenyan team the berth to represent Africa at the FIVB Club World Champs in Qatar.
“Again with the National team Wachu led Kenya to retain the gold medals of the 2011 African Nations Championship to improve her CV when she led the Kenyans also at the 2011 World Cup in Japan.
“Now I dream to represent my country at the World Grand Prix, it is a good chance to play a lot of matches at the world level. We are not less than any other team in the world but we had much difficult life style. We had for example to prepare for the big competitions outdoors because we don’t have a hall to train in. I had also to wake up daily at 5 am to start my work as prisons officer working for 12 hours before starting my training. Add to this I had to do my home requirements liking cooking and washing my clothes which is not the case I think for the European players.” She concluded.
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