Kenya Volleyball Federation Deputy President Steps Down as Malkia Strikers Assistant Coach Ahead of Paris 2024 Olympics

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Bitok resigns as Malkia Strikers assistant coach.
Controversy surrounds federation’s dual roles in coaching.
Bitok cites stakeholder pressure for resignation.
Legacy of Bitok’s contributions to Kenyan volleyball acknowledged.

Amidst uproar and mounting pressure, Paul Bitok, the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) deputy president, has decided to step down from his role as assistant coach of the Malkia Strikers for the Paris 2024 Olympics. His departure comes in response to criticisms surrounding his inclusion in the team’s technical bench alongside KVF president Charles Nyaberi.

Pressure Mounts on Technical Bench
Bitok’s decision to yield to pressure reflects the controversy that has surrounded the unveiling of the Malkia Strikers’ technical bench for the Olympics. Alongside Nyaberi, Bitok was named team manager and assistant coach respectively, sparking backlash from various quarters within the volleyball community.

Criticism Over Federation’s Role
The dissatisfaction stemmed from the perception that federation heads doubling up as technical officials undermined the team’s preparation for the Olympics. This sentiment was exacerbated by KVF’s decision to discontinue an FIVB-sponsored partnership, which provided invaluable expertise from Brazilian coaches, instrumental in the team’s qualification for the 2024 Olympics.

Bitok’s Resignation
Bitok’s resignation follows extensive consultations with key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Sports, National Olympic Committee of Kenya, players of Malkia Strikers, as well as fans and family. In a statement, Bitok cited the strong sentiments surrounding the technical bench appointments as the primary factor influencing his decision.

Defense Against Accusations
Responding to accusations of self-imposition on the technical bench due to his position as KVF Deputy President, Bitok clarified that his involvement predates his election. He emphasized his longstanding commitment to the team, dating back to the Olympics qualifiers in Cameroon, before assuming his current role within the federation.

Bitok’s Contributions and Legacy
Bitok’s tenure as assistant coach symbolized the culmination of an eight-year project for the Malkia Strikers, characterized by notable achievements including qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and securing a spot in the Paris Games. His wealth of experience, both as a coach and in sports administration, has significantly contributed to the development of volleyball in Kenya.

As Bitok bows out from his coaching role, attention now turns to KVF president Charles Nyaberi, who remains steadfast in his determination to accompany the Malkia Strikers to Paris. Bitok’s resignation underscores the importance of addressing stakeholders’ concerns and prioritizing the team’s best interests as they prepare to represent Kenya on the global stage.

Who is Bitok

Bitok: Former Kenyan volleyball player turned coach.
Led Malkia Strikers to Tokyo and Paris Olympics.
Extensive coaching experience with Rwanda national team.
Previously coached KCB in Kenya.
Elected KVF Deputy President; prioritized volleyball development.

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