NAIROBI, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Over 10 countries will compete in the women inaugural Africa Trophy Zone Five junior handball tournament, which will be staged in Zanzibar in March.
Kenya Handball Federation (KHF) fixtures secretary Charles Omondi said the tournament, which will attract teams from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea and Egypt will be critical in development of the sport in the region.
Omondi, speaking in Nairobi on Friday, said Kenya will field two teams, one in the junior category and another in the youth cadre. Both teams will be competing in the women's category.
The tournament, which is supported by the International Handball Federation (IHF) is set to run in Zanzibar from March 10 to 16.
"We are glad to be part of this event because it offers us a good chance to expose our players and let them gain experience. We also have the Africa Games and this competition serves as a good build up for Kenya and other regional countries to prepare for the continental games," said Omondi.
Kenya has a vibrant league and the official says the six-day competition will help the coaches gauge the national team preparedness ahead of the Africa Games, which will be held in Casablanca, Morocco in August.
"We are focused on sending strong teams to the six-day event. We have good players in various schools across the nation and what we are doing is to get them to start training together as a unit. Just as the men's team performed well in Uganda last year, we hope the women's sides will follow similar trend," added Omondi.
Kenya featured in last year's men's version of the event in Kampala, Uganda, where the national youth boys team emerged overall winners after seeing off Ethiopia in the final. The junior side finished fourth having fallen to Ethiopia.
Omondi said selection of players is ongoing and national champions Kamusinga Secondary School coach Godfrey Simiyu will be in charge of the teams.