Roll Ball Sport Gaining Traction In Kenya

Roll ball you may ask, what is it? Maybe you already know roller soccer and roller basketball. Here is Roll Ball!

Roll ball is a sure and exciting sport where skating is combined with skills from basketball and handball with a basket ball. The game is basically a hybridization of handball and basketball on skates. This sport has been in Kenya since 2011, who would have guessed! With teams in University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University,  Multimedia University,  Jkuat and the Swat Rollball Club.

The Kenya Rollball team which is comprised of the best players from all these clubs has competed in major international tournaments.  They have gone unbeaten in the East African Region taking the cup in two consecutive seasons; 2015 in Rwanda and 2016 in Kasarani, Kenya. The team is currently training for the 2017 edition which will be in Tanzania come October. Two world cups have already taken place, with Kenya playing host in 2013 with 30 nations. The first African Edition was held in 2016, where Kenya took the championship after defeating Egypt in the finals.

So, why are we just hearing the noise now? Roll ball isn’t perhaps the sport most closely associated with Kenyan sports scene – like the kind of noise we receive or get from pro league rugby, football, athletics,  netball and other sports. Or the fact that the sport gets traction every other year with the World Cup which is every two years, East Africa championship which happens annually and the recently introduced local league.

” However there are plans for pro league in India,  of which some of our players might get a call to play. The game is yet to make an entry to the Olympic, but it’s in the process hopefully by 2022.” adds National team member Joan Mumbi.

Our young team members are making our nation proud… setting a name for the Kenyan flag though minimal support garnered towards them. Mostly the support is from private sectors,  which is a good thing! A church, Glory Outreach Assembly (GOA) based in Kahawa Wendani, Hipora Business Solutions (a security firm) and Tunaweza Kenya (an IT company).

 

More needs to be done to support our winning team, ” Government support is minimal which only comes after a lot of pushing from our main well-wisher Bishop Thagana (GOA)”, Joan concludes.

At the World Cup, Kenya has participated in 4 championships. The men’s team were able to clinch the 2nd Runners up with Iran taking 1st Runners up and India taking the title for the third time in a row. On the other hand, the women’s Kenyan team shocked the world by beating India and bringing the first title home.

In addition, anyone is welcome to join the sport. Rules of the game; it is forbidden to run with the ball without dribbling, skate with the ball without dribbling. Deliberately hit or block the ball with any part of the leg or accidentally touch the ball with the foot or the leg… Easy! I think I’ve found me my new sport.