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Japan’s Hitachi Rivale, a model sporting facility

With 30 professional players aged over 19 years, 80 youth players, eight coaches, a management team, 20 support staff, state-of-the-art hostels and a bus among other facilities, Hitachi Rivale Volleyball Club is a model sporting institution that any club in Kenya can emulate.

This 40 year old club features in the top flight volleyball league in Japan a competition in which it finished fifth last season.

“We want to win the league this season,” one of the coaches told Nairobi News.

The club’s hostels located a walking distance from the training courts and gymnasium, can house upto 150 players at the same time.

Hitachi Rivale Volleyball Club players. PHOTO | DAVID KWALIMWA
Hitachi Rivale Volleyball Club players. PHOTO | DAVID KWALIMWA


All the players must reside in the hostels, from where they are fed and are offered supplementary lessons on sports management as part of the club’s Sh 350 million annual budget.

At the moment, two senior players of the team and two junior players at the club feature in the national teams.

Senior players of the team are also part time employees of the sponsoring company Hitachi motors, in different capacities depending on their education level, where they earn upto Sh 400,000 a month in net salaries.

The club also trains upto 60 players aged below 18 at any given time.

Winners of the 16 team Japan’s volleyball league are awarded an equivalent of Sh 20 million in prize money alongside medals and trophies.