NAIROBI, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Over 500 teams drawn from the East African region will compete at an international volleyball competition scheduled Friday in the western Kenyan town of Eldoret, organizers said on Monday.
The Amaco international volleyball tournament has attracted teams from the host nation, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda that will be in contention for a share of 6,000 U.S. dollars prize money.
"When I conceived the idea of starting a tournament in my home village in 5005 to nurture talent, little did I know it would grow into an international event of this magnitude," Paul Bitok, the tournament founder, said on Monday during the launch of the competition in Nairobi.
Bitok rose through the ranks in the tournament to a national team player, Kenya's national coach and his present position as the head coach of the Rwandan volleyball team.
The event has also produced outstanding players like Philip Maiyo, who has played professional volleyball in Bulgaria, Japan, Romania and currently resides in Turkey.
Waithaka Kioni, president of Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) said government funding was inadequate and the federation might be forced to scale down on competitions this year.
"We have several competitions lined up this year including the U-18 Women Championships and the U-17 Africa Youth Qualifiers for boys and girls in which we might not take pat in if we are not funded," the president remarked.