Bitok to extend contract with national volleyball team

Paul Bitok had over the years been linked with a move back to Kenya for the national team head coach job. / File

PAUL Bitok is reportedly on the verge of extending his contract with the Ministry for Sports and Culture (Minispoc) as head coach of the national volleyball team.

The 48-year-old’s current contract is due to expire at the end of the month and previously said he was looking forward to his next challenge after almost ten years at the helm of the national team.

But, according to reports, Bitok and Minispoc have started talks and the Kenyan tactician is open to a new deal – and effectively extending his stay in Rwanda – should the sports ministry meet his demands.

Following their first meeting last week, Times Sport understands that the two sides will meet again on June 15 to finalise the discussions, after the ongoing CAVB Africa Zone V Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.

His Rwandan side started the quest for ticket to the 2019 All-Africa Games with a 3-1 (sets) defeat at the hands of continental powerhouse Egypt on Monday, but quickly bounced back to see off the hosts, Kenya, in straight sets 26-24, 25-23 and 26-24, on Tuesday.

Bitok was first appointed as head coach of the men’s senior national team in 2011, one year after serving as interim coach of the women’s team. He has since renewed his contract twice on a three-year basis.

Key successes

After nearly a decade of day-to-day involvement with the national teams, at different age and gender categories, the former Kenya international has helped Rwanda to rise among the best volleyball nations on the continent – both in beach volleyball and indoor volleyball.

In indoor volleyball, Bitok guided the men’s senior team to two Zone V titles and a consistent presence at the African Championships and the All-Africa Games since 2011.

His side finished fourth during the 2011 and 2015 All-Africa Games in Mozambique and Congo-Brazzaville, respectively.

At this year’s Beach Volleyball Africa Cup of Nations, held in Nigeria in April, Rwanda was the only country to qualify both teams – men and women – for the 2019 World Beach Volleyball Championship, which runs from June 28 to July 7 in Hamburg, Germany.

In Africa, Rwanda is ranked second in men’s beach volleyball and third in women’s category.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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