The 24th Summer Deaflympics
2021 in Caxias do Sul, Brazil

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Deaflympics: Football first team to depart for Brazil

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NAIROBI, Apr 25 – The national women’s Deaf football team became the first contingent to depart the country for Caxias do Sul, Brazil ahead of the 24th Summer Deaflympics scheduled for May 1-15.

The contingent comprised of 15 players and 4 officials who jetted out at 6pm with the rest of 3 players and 7 officials scheduled to leave early Tuesday at 1am.

The contingent is led by the Deputy Chef de Mission Dokatu Wako.

Football will get the Summers Games underway April 30 with Kenya launching its campaign against Japan May 3.

Their second match will be against the host Brazil one day later, then they will clash with Poland and the US on May 7 and 9 respectively in a round robin format.

Other events will be staged in the neighbouring cities of Farroupilha and Flores da Cunha.

Part of the national women’s Deaf Football team posing for a photo at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport before departing for Brazil. Photo/KELLY AYODI

The football team under the tutelage of coach Ben Bela are gracing the global championships for the first time ever.

Speaking at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport before the team departure, head coach Bela and team’s captain Emily Adhiambo called on Kenyans to support them during the Games.

Despite being underdogs, they have promised a good performance in Brazil.

“The team is about 80 percent ready. For the three weeks we have been in camp, the players have pushed themselves. I believe by the time we play our first match we will be ready to go,” said Bela.

National women’s Deaf Football head coach Ben Bella at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport before departure. Photo/KELLY AYODI

“The government has facilitated a good number of days for us to acclimatize with the weather in Brazil. I believe a week is enough to be in good shape and tackle Japan in our first match on May 3. We are going to this tournament as underdogs but my team is well prepared and I believe we will compete and post a good results.”

Adhiambo said: “We will be there (Brazil) for about one week before we start our matches, so I feel we will adapt well to the weather.”

“The coach selected the strongest team and we have also been training hard in camp so we expect to play well against our opponents. I have been encouraging the team to focus only on win,” added the Flamingo Deaf Women’s football club midfielder.

National women’s Deaf football team player Dorothy Adhiambo arriving at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Photo/KELLY AYODI

To assure themselves a medal, the team only need to register two victories.

Athletics (men and women), basketball (men and women), handball (men and women) and golf (men) are the other Kenyan teams expected to travel in the course of this week for the Games.