Kenya Pipeline Volleyball Club players have sent a passionate plea to their sponsors, the Kenya Pipeline Company, to review their terms of engagement and offer them contracts and permanent employment.
The players want the oil and gas company to offer senior players permanent employment to help them secure their futures after retiring from the game.
Led by captain Triza Atuka, the seven-time Africa champions made the passionate appeal at a pre-season media breakfast in Nairobi on Wednesday.
They said they were increasingly getting worried about their future since all but two of them are on three-year contracts which expire in 2018.
Atuka, a Kenya international who has been part of the KPC team for the last four years, added that it is unsettling to remain on short-term contracts with no promise of permanent employment, especially because they don’t have any other professional qualifications outside volleyball.
“There are players who have been here for six years, yet only two in the team are on permanent contracts,” said Atuka.
“This makes it very difficult for us to focus completely on the game because of the uncertainty. Some have tried to go to school, but they’ve had to take a break because of the training schedule. You find that the major international tournaments come in April when most institutions have the end-of-semester exams.”
“This means that once you stay here for nine years, there is a likelihood of leaving without any form of back-up and this affects the players’ focus because they now start seeking offers from other clubs,” she said.
The media breakfast, held in honour of the team, was attended by senior Kenya Pipeline Company officials, led by Corporate Communications Manager Jason Nyantino.
Atuka’s sentiments were echoed by Nation Media Group’s Managing Editor (Sports) Elias Makori who spoke on behalf of journalists. He challenged the company to offer training opportunities to the players to equip them well for the job market.
“This is a disciplined team that represents the country well and one that reflects what the company is about, and that is being the best in what they do.
“I urge the management to consider putting the players through professional training in various trades because volleyball is transient. Once the players are equipped with the necessary job skills, then they can be able to sustain themselves even after retiring from the game,” Makori said.
Responding to the appeal, Nyantino promised to forward the request to the company’s chief executive and board which will sit to review the players’ terms of employment.
“I will ensure that this matter gets to the relevant authorities, but in the meantime, I urge you to continue with the good spirit and hard work,” he said.
“As KPC, we want to be Africa’s premier oil and gas company, but these girls here (volleyball team) have already conquered Africa seven times, an achievement only bettered by Egypt’s Al Ahly. They have made the company and country proud,” said Nyantino.
Source: DAILY NATION