Champions Upper Hill School will again be favourites to retain their titles as the Nairobi Region Secondary Schools Term One Games get underway Saturday morning at Nairobi School and State House Girls.
Upper Hill will be defending the boys’ basketball, rugby 15s and hockey titles in the two-day showpiece, which will also feature cross-country, swimming, decathlon and heptathlon. At stake will be the titles and slots to next month’s National Games.
Nairobi, which alongside Machakos, Makueni and Kajiado Counties formed the Metropolitan region, is now a region on its own following the move by the Ministry of Education to revert to the old provincial boundaries.
In rugby 15s, Upper Hill have been placed in Pool A and will kick start their title defence against Jamhuri High and later on face Muhuri Muchiri.
Upper Hill coach Victor Walgwe is confident his charges will retain their crown as they bid to make the nationals.
“This is a crucial stage and we have got to be on top of our game because every team will be aiming to stop us,” Walgwe said on Friday.
Upper will rely on Harrison Ojuang, Saidi Abdalla and Smith Rolf in their hunt for another title. The trio helped Upper Hill qualify for the regionals following their 17-0 win over Lenana in the Nairobi West sub-region finals.
In the absence of Laiser Hill who have since moved back to Rift Valley region, Lenana, Nairobi School and Ofafa Jericho will all be seeking to dethrone Upper Hill.
Nairobi School and Lenana have been placed in Pool B which also has Aquinas while Ofafa headline Pool C alongside Moi Forces Academy and St Mary’s.
Upper Hill are also be overwhelming favourites for the basketball crown. The national champions play Hospital Hill and Muhuri Muchiri in Pool A. Strathmore, who have also been tipped to go all the way, are in Pool B alongside Highway and Lenana.
HILLCREST OUT TO RETAIN TITLE
Girls’ champions Buru Buru play Raila Educational School and Ngara Girls in Pool A while last year’s finalists Parklands Arya are in Pool B and will have to overcome Kayole South and Moi Girls to make the knockout stage. Arya lost 46-39 to Buru Buru in last year’s final at Laiser Hill Academy.
With only one slot available to the nationals, it promises to be a bruising battle between the two nemeses.
In hockey, former champions Hillcrest will be seeking to reclaim the title.
Hillcrest lost 2-1 to Upper Hill last year. The former champions face Starehe Boys Centre and Makongeni in Pool B. Champions Upper Hill are in Pool A with Nairobi School and Highway Secondary.