Thirteen teams have confirmed participation to this year’s East and Central African Handball Club Championship that gets underway on Sunday at the Nyayo National Stadium Handball Court.
Men’s defending champions Rwanda Police and Kenyan side Nairobi Water, who are the women’s champions, are among the sides expected to take part in the 28th edition of the regional showpiece.
APR men’s team will be the second side from Rwanda while Zanzibar’s Nyuki (men), and Tanzania’s Jeshi la Kujenga Taifa (men and women) will also feature.
Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Police, who won the title in 2014, and compatriots Heritage will complete the list of teams expected to do battle in the week-long annual championship.
Kenya will field six clubs among them Kenya Defence Forces (men and women), National Cereals and Produce Board (men and women) and Black Mamba (men). Uganda Prisons, who have featured in previous editions, were due to confirm their participation on Wednesday evening.
Kenya Handball Federation (KHF) Fixtures Secretary Charles Omondi, said plans are at an advanced stage to ensure the country stages a successful competition.
“We will have some of the best clubs from across the region and we promise Kenyans a competitive event and they should turn out in large numbers to cheer our teams,” Omondi told Daily Nation Sport.
“We are hoping to get more entries by Friday so that we can work on the draws and order of play.”
Teams are expected to arrive on Friday and Saturday with the officials set to meet on Saturday to work on the fixtures, with matches beginning on Sunday.
The last edition in 2015 was held in Rwanda. Kenya will be hosting the annual event for the second time having first hosted it in 2014. The 2015 edition recorded a poor turnout with only six clubs- three men and three women- taking part.
Rwanda Police finished top with four points, after securing maximum points in their two matches with Mamba claiming silver, after finishing on two points with APR finishing third with no points.
Nairobi Water claimed their second title after finishing ahead of Rwanda’s Ecole Secondaire Mukingi and University of Rwanda College of Education at the Kimisagara Youth Sports Centre, Kigali.
The three time national champions beat ES University 42-26 and Mukingi 33-18 to complete another successful competition.
Water have been tipped to claim a hatrick of titles at this year’s competition. NCPB were the last local men’s team to win the title back in 2012.