§ The National Super League goalkeeper Austine Oketch, who plays for the Ligi Ndogo team, is determined to keep physically fit amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ligi Ndogo goalie is now in his rural home in Ugenya, Siaya County since March. The cessation of movement into and out of the capital Nairobi, a measure that was taken to curb the spread of Covid-19, restricted his travel.
The 23-year-old is applying various techniques to stay fit. He takes a seven-kilometer walk to Nyaharwa Primary School playgrounds in Ugenya for individual training sessions.
The local pitch is different from the well-equipped training camp he was used to in Nairobi and he also faces distractions as he tries to focus on his training.
“Since Kenya reported the first confirmed case of Covid-19, this place has become my training venue,” Oketch said
“My temporary training ground has no facilities at all, just a rugged and unkempt pitch with wooden goalposts. Besides, I lack a trainer and I do the work-outs all alone,” he explained.
“I sometimes delay and get distracted from my training schedule. Here in the village, I have to do farm work and domestic chores which is necessary but it often eats up into my training time,” he added.
He discovered his talent in football while in Class Five at Magombe Primary school in Karadolo Sub-location in Ugenya Sub-County and kept his focus and he also played at St Charles Humwend Secondary School in Ukwala.
“While in secondary school, I was part of a team that represented Siaya County in 2018 regional secondary school games at Moi Stadium in Kisumu. We were awarded certificates by both Siaya County Government and Ministry of Education for being the champions,” he said
Coach Jeremy Oluoch Odhiambo spotted Oketch fresh from secondary school education and he immediately joined Gor Mahia’s youth team and he featured for the team in Football Kenya Federation Division One League.
He was also part of the SofCo Football Club for six months before joining Ligi Ndogo in January this year. His team is currently fourth in FKF Division One league.