The Sports Department goes for a recruitment drive in Western Kenya

By John Sande and John Kabuu

The COVID-19 pandemic caused great havoc in the sports arena with many learning institutions putting on hold their sports and games activities. With the pandemic contained and the resumption of learning having gone back to fully physical, the sports activities section in the Student Affairs division embarked on a 4-day recruitment drive targeting the western region of Kenya from November 16 – 19, 2022.

The decision to target western Kenya was informed by the changes in this year’s secondary school national games that saw the shifting in dominance from, and dethroning of perennial household names such as Kakamega School, Kamusinga School, Upper Hill Secondary School and Nairobi School to new comers such as Butula School, Koyonzo Boys, Sinyolo Girls to mention but a few. This elicited interest from the USIU-Africa Sports section who wanted to understand and tap into this new and raw talent that had also excelled in the East African games held in Tanzania in the same year.

The recruitment team comprising Bonifas Salano (Senior Sports Coordinator), John Kabuu (Senior Quality Assurance Office and Hockey Patron), John Sande (Senior Digital Marketing Officer), Atanus Awiti (Rugby Coach) and Sidney Muniafu (Rugby Coach) visited a number of schools addressing the students including:
St. Anthony’s Boys School, Kitale
With 75% of the students scoring a mean grade of a C+ and above, St. Anthony’s Boys School, Kitale is an academic powerhouse within the region. The recruitment team got an opportunity to speak with the candidates and shared highlights why USIU-Africa was a preferred higher education destination upon successful completion of their secondary school studies.

The decision to settle on St. Anthony's Kitale was not surprising given their past excellent track record. The school is Kenya’s Secondary School games football and hockey champions, with the hockey team having won the national games for a record ten times, including the current year, 2022.

Butere Girls High School and Koyonzo Boys School
The second day of recruitment saw the team travel to two institutions: Butere Girls High School and Koyonzo Boys Secondary Schools. These two schools were triumphant during the national games, where they depicted their prowess in ladies’ basketball and men’s rugby respectively. At Butere girls, the team was accorded a chance to speak to over 50 top student candidates who were largely impressed with the endless possibilities of pursuing education at a world-class university.

At Koyonzo Secondary School, the team was warmly welcomed by the School Principal and the Deputy Principal – who were humbled by the visit. The administration scrambled to congregate over 500 form 3 and 4 students to listen to the USIU-Africa officials who underscored the importance of the school working hard to match their sports exploits with their academic achievements.

Tunza Sports Academy
The third day of the recruitment involved collaborating and coordinating with Tunza Sports Academy to coalesce students and teachers from 8 institutions in a well-orchestrated effort to recruit brilliant students from across the Nyanza region. Tunza Sports Academy is a not-for-profit sports-based organization for youth development. The program harnesses the power of sports to reduce poverty, promote health and inspire academic success for kids in under-served rural areas. The students converged at the Museum View hotel conference room where the recruitment team shared the highlights of the university, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, Scholarship opportunities and application procedures. Among the schools that were represented included:

  • Sinyolo Girls
  • Agenga Mixed Secondary School
  • Ratta Mixed Secondary School
  • Kamagambo Adventist
  • Oasis of Hope Secondary School
  • Kisumu Day High School
  • Amaiko Secondary School
  • Bondo Township Secondary School

Butula Boys Secondary School
The climax of the recruitment drive saw the team visit Butula Secondary School during their sports and cultural day. This was an excellent platform to market the university as three other schools namely: St. Mary’s Yala Secondary school, Nanyuki Secondary school, and Nduru Boys’ Secondary school had been invited to compete in a rugby tournament. The team set up a tent and managed to talk to well over 2000 students drawn from the four schools.

Speaking to the multitude, the Senior Sports Coordinator, Mr. Bonifas Salano clarified that academic ability is usually the most important factor when scouting for athletic talent.
“You may be a star athlete, but if you do not have the requisite university entry requirement, there’s nothing a coach can do to guarantee your acceptance to the university. Character interlocks with the above two and together will determine successful recruitment” he added.

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