With recent history of glittering success in sports, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) teams were again multiple trophy winners in the recently concluded Kenyan Universities Sports Association (KUSA) National Playoffs.
With the University hosting the 2021 KUSA tournament, JKUAT sportsmen and women clicked into gear finishing off their opponents in style on their way to claiming 16 trophies out of 22 sporting activities. A total of 19 universities participated in the games.
JKUAT received trophies in both the men and women categories in basketball, handball, hockey, tennis, table tennis, roll ball and wood ball. The University’s men soccer team commonly known as the ‘panthers’ and the women’s badminton team were the other receivers of trophies in the tournament which played out between August 13-15, 2021.
As expected from most tournaments, soccer and basketball attracted the largest and loudest crowds. The aura during these two games was reminiscent of the emotive Mashemeji derby. Colliding rivals were spurred on by an atmosphere of proper sports fanatics showcasing their sideline antics and shenanigans coupled with loud chants and frequent outbursts of celebrations.
The much anticipated Thika road derby between JKUAT and Kenyatta University (KU) came in the finals of the KUSA tournament. To say the game was exciting is a massive understatement. The only justifiable miss in the derby was a commentary from the legendary football poet Peter Drury.
The Panthers powered past their fierce rivals to claim a thrilling 3-1 victory. The third goal from the panthers killed off any hopes of a spirited comeback KU were mounting in the dying moments of the match.
Another mouthwatering encounter was the handball faceoff between JKUAT and KU in both the men and female categories. The nail-biting affair was won and lost in agonizing margins. JKUAT women team (Tigress) won by 18-17 while the JKUAT Men team (Tigers) claimed the bronze medal when they lost to KU 19-14.
JKUAT Director of Sports and Games, Dr. Waweru Kamaku, was delighted with the University’s trophy haul saying JKUAT is both an academic and sports giant.
“This is a fabulous feeling. Our performances during the tournament cements JKUAT’s place as an undisputed leader in academia and sports,” said Dr. Kamaku.
He explained that the tournament’s theme ‘Sports for Health and Academic Excellence’ was inspired by the ever changing challenges of modern life and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The director added that engaging in competitive sports and exercise can provide a crucial mental and physical outlet for university students.
Mariam Ngugi, who was a hockey coordinator during the tournament lauded JKUAT for the organizational structure set up by the University to ensure that the transmission of results was timely, transparent and fair.