SPORTS: Emerging institutions that impressed in 2023 School Games

Koyonzo Rugby team in a past School Games event. PHOTO/Koyonzo Rugby

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in school management have reverberated through school games, particularly affecting longstanding giants that had dominated sports for years.

The disruptions caused by the pandemic and shifts in leadership have led to the struggles of these once-dominant schools, as they face challenges in reclaiming their former glory in various sports.


Amidst these challenges, a noteworthy trend has emerged – the rise of new schools that were not particularly impressive before the COVID-19 era.

These schools, fueled by fresh enthusiasm and determination, have taken the school games by storm.

Eager to establish themselves as dominant forces in different sports, these rising stars are reshaping the landscape of school competitions and signalling a changing of the guard in the sporting arena.

Here are some of the schools that impressed in 2023:

Shanderema Boys 

Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shanderema was relatively unknown in the realm of football, with schools like the reigning champions Kakamega School and Musingu dominating the football scene in the Western Region.

However, the narrative changed in 2022 when Shanderema emerged as a strong contender, ultimately securing the Western Region title in 2023 and earning a spot in the Nationals.

In a remarkable turn of events, the little-known Shanderema Secondary School triumphed over Musingu with a convincing 3-0 victory in the Western Region Secondary School Term Two Games, claiming the football title.

Shanderema High School being addressed before a Schools games event. PHOTO/KSSSA/Facebook
Shanderema High School being addressed before a School Games event. PHOTO/KSSSA/Facebook

The Eagles, led by Captain Mark Shaban, showcased an impressive performance, highlighted by Shaban’s goal and assist for Dismas Barasa, along with a goal from Simon Masinza.

This unexpected triumph occurred in the final at the packed Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County, where they stunned the four-time national champions, Musingu Boys’ High School.

Advancing to the National Stage, Shanderema continued their commendable run until they faced a narrow defeat to eventual winners St Anthony by a solitary goal.

READ ALSO  " You Are Embarrassing The Mt Kenya People" Gachagua Sends Message to Karua, Reveals What He Wants

Despite this setback, they secured a place in their inaugural East African games after securing the third spot with a commanding 5-1 victory over Agoro Sare at Bukhungu Stadium.

While they may not have achieved significant success in the East African games, Shanderema’s journey marked an impressive debut on this prestigious stage, reflecting their newfound prowess in football.

Koyonzo High School 

Koyonzo High School entered the 7s campaign wounded after being banned from the East African final for fielding an ineligible player.

Retaining the majority of their players who secured the 2022 7s title, they embarked on an unbeaten run, qualifying for the Nationals.

At Bull Ring in Kakamega, Koyonzo High School secured their second consecutive KSSSA National Rugby 7s championship by defeating Vihiga School 22-12.

Koyonzo Rugby team in a past School Games event. PHOTO/Koyonzo Rugby

To defend their championship, Koyonzo went on an undefeated journey, securing another qualification for the East African games.

The Stormers dominated with a commanding 15-7 lead by halftime, solidifying their position. In the East African games, they continued their top form, winning all their matches and lifting the maiden regional title.


Turning to Butula High School, a successful appeal saw Koyonzo eliminated from the Western Regional 15s games.

Butula, under coach Libondo Shimenga, emerged as a strong contender in Western Region games, winning the 15s title for the first time in their history.

In the National School games, Butula Boys secured their first 15s National Championship, beating All Saints 38-0 in the final in Eldoret.

Butula High School  after bagging bronze in FEASSSA 15S school games. PHOTO/FEASSSA/Facebook
Butula High School after bagging bronze in FEASSSA 15S school games. PHOTO/FEASSSA/Facebook

This victory marked Butula as the fifth school from the Western Region to claim the national 15s title. Led by Libondo Shimenga, who previously won the title with St. Peters Mumias in 2014, Butula, All Saints, and St Anthony represented Kenya in the East African 15s games in Huye, Rwanda. Despite Kenyan schools failing to shine, Butula finished as runners-up in the competition.

READ ALSO  Looming Showdown In Ruto's Camp As Sabina Chege Rekindles One man, One Vote, One Shilling Debate


Shifting to volleyball, Ruthimitu Secondary won the maiden National title, defeating Andersen 3-2 in a thrilling five-set match. They proceeded to the East African games alongside Namwela and Tumaini.

However, in the East African games in Rwanda, they faced challenges, managing ninth place in the 2023 regional campaign.


In girls’ volleyball, Kesogon from Rift Valley secured their maiden national title by defeating Kwanthanze 3-1 sets, putting a halt to the six-time champions’ dominance.

Kwanzanthe after reclaiming the title in the FEASSA School games. PHOTO/FEASSSA
Kwanzanthe after reclaiming the title in the FEASSA School games. PHOTO/FEASSSA

Kesogon’s remarkable performance sent shockwaves through the attending fans, winning sets of 25-19, 15-25, 22-25, 25-21 and exacting revenge on the East Africa champions. Despite their triumph, Kesogon finished second in the East African games, losing to Kwanthanze once again.

Mwira secondary

In another victory for the Matungu sub-county, St. Maurice Mwira thumped Gilgil 10-5 to clinch their first-ever national trophy in the reintroduced girls’ rugby.

This success meant that both the 7s boy’s and girl’s titles were won by teams from the same sub-county as Koyonzo had bagged the boys’ title. Madira secured third place, claiming the bronze medal after defeating Bishop Sulumeti 5-0.


Turning to basketball, Onjiko High School secured their maiden national title by defeating Timbila 20-11 in the boys’ 3×3 basketball category. In the same vein, Ototo Mixed Secondary School made history by clinching the first-ever national title in KSSSA basketball 3×3 girls.

In the realm of netball, Oyugi Ogango emerged victorious by beating Bukokholo 54-40, securing their first title in the game.