Handball Queen Merina Andala eager to shine more

Handball Queen Merina Andala eager to shine more

Handball Queen Merina Andala eager to shine more

Merina Andala

The Captain of the Nairobi Water Queens handball team Merina Andala has been named Most Valuable Player 3 times in major tournaments since she started playing handball back in the year 2000. Her recent accomplishment came in April this year at the end of the 2011/2012 Kenya Handball Federation League where she was named MVP in the female category.

The other competition that she was awarded prestigious recognition was in 2009 in the East and Central Club Champions held in Zanzibar when she played for the defending champions National Cereals Board of Kenya. The following year she was named MVP once more when she represented Kenya in the under -20 Championships that were held in Rwanda.

According to Merina all of this is attributed to talent and the support that she receives from the people around her,

“I know I am talented and that is what I can’t take for granted so I really work hard to continue improving myself. My family has also supported me fully in my quest as a handball player and this gives me the morale to soldier on.”

She goes on further to thank the Nairobi Water team manager Mary Musau who was integral in her move from Cereals to Nairobi Water,

“Mary has done a lot for this team; making sure 8 players are employed including myself. That is a lot to achieve considering that does not come easily so I owe a lot to her.”

Most of the players in the team are employed by the sponsor Nairobi Water courtesy of playing handball as way to motivate the team.

Merina featured for Kenya for the first time in 2005 in the Under 16 championships held in Zambia in 2007. She travelled with the senior team to Algeria as a youth talent. Last year she finally managed to play for the senior team in Maputo, “having been exposed to such levels I hope to continue featuring in the national team.”

On her team Merina has high hopes for the side, “Nairobi Water is barely 3 years old, last season we were runners up in the league, and coming November we are travelling to Morocco that is a milestone for such a young team.”

“The fact that most of us have played together in the U-20 national team contributes a lot to our performance in the pitch.  The coach (Jack Ochieng) has also helped us improve and as per now I can confidently say the whole team is ready for any level of competition.” She added.

In terms of the whole handball scene in Kenya Merina suggests that more international matches should be played in order to give the clubs and national teams more exposure, “when our teams travel to play outside Kenya we find it a bit hard because of the improved levels of competition there. The management of our teams should strive to see to it that our local teams time and again playa against teams from outside so that we can also gather equal experience. The local teams should also take the initiative of developing themselves instead of creating unnecessary rivalries that do not help develop the sport.” She concluded.

Read more on : Handball

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