Former national Under-19 team captain Beverlyne Naliaka Shikuku is dead.
The former Western Bombers player died on March 26 due to postnatal complications at the Webuye District Hospital.
The 5’7′ feet tall player has left behind an eight-month old baby. The 21-year-old played for Bungoma side in 2017 and 2018 before taking a break in 2019.
She first featured in the national volleyball league in 2017 while in Form 3 at Kabuyefwe Secondary School and was instrumental in helping Bombers secure a playoff slot. Later in the 2018 at the Inter-County Games, she played a pivotal role for the eventual winners- Busia County.
In 2018, Naliaka was called to the national U19 girls team and was elected captain under coach Catherine Mabwi.
“She was an exceptional player. Her future was starting to shape up. Her demise is a big loss to Kenyan volleyball,” said coach Kelvin Khakina who is also a lecturer in the School of Business and Economics at Kibabii University.
Naliaka started playing volleyball as a left attacker while in class seven at Mabanga Primary, catapulting the school to the the nationals. She proceeded to Kabuyefwe Secondary for her ‘O’ Level education where coach John Wambaya moved her to play as a middle blocker due to tight competition and later doubled up as an opposite hitter.
“Beverlyne was a good student and an excellent player. We prepared her well both in her academics and in the sport and we, at Kabuyefwe, and the volleyball fraternity feel a great loss. She was young, talented and hardworking and the future was very promising for her,” Wambaya bemoaned his team captain of three years (2016 to 2018).
Former Kenya international Jackline Makokha had also secured a place for the deceased in a college in the USA and plans, which were due to be finalised this year, were delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Three clubs in the Kenya Volleyball Federation league have been chasing her services. He game has also attracted suitors from abroad including two- Nemostars Club and Trust Secondary School for A Level- in Uganda.