Student spotlights: Volleyball Captain Elias Karigi
Elias Karigi is captain of the Strathmore University mens volleyball team. Known as Strathmore Jaguars, the team has seen numerous bright days, amongst them, the currently concluded Kenya Volleyball Federation Central branch Universities and Colleges category tournament held recently in Nyeri. Elias wears many hats, 3rd year BBIT student, SU team captain; he is also among the four players in SU who are in the National U-23 junior volleyball team. Away from sports, Elias is the first born, attributing his source of inspiration to his two younger sisters, who look up to him.
Who is Elias Karigi?
Elias Karigi is a humble young man, who is passionate about what he likes and pursues it to the end.
How did you join the Strathmore Volleyball team?
After I completed my secondary level education, I joined the Ruiru Municipal County team, in the national league, to pursue what I enjoy most. I had played for that team for a year, when fate knocked on my door. During an open tournament at Catholic University of Eastern Africa, 2011, SU coach Baraza spotted my talent, and asked for my contacts. That marked my pathway to my journey here.
In 2012, I joined Strathmore, having been granted a Strathmore Sports scholarship, and I am pursuing BBIT. The school has been very supportive by giving me time to fully participate in the national team. This support also includes health insurance, which caters for medical expenses in case a player gets injured on the field.
How do you balance studies and sports?
Balancing studies and sports, is a round-the-clock task, as I have to deliver optimal results in both fields. I treat volleyball as a career and with that I give both my studies and participation in sports my all. I remember how Sports Administrator Isaac Mwangi would refer to us, he would call us special athlete students, often encouraging us and cheering us up whenever we felt devastated.
Playing in tournaments calls for a lot of sacrifice from players, thereafter one has to consult lectures and friends, to enable catch-up on whatever classes are missed. It requires that prioritizes so that they stay focused on their goals. Currently, we are ranked 2nd at the Universities league (KUSA) after Saint Pauls University.
What has been your driving force as a captain?
Nothing can compare to the fulfilment I get when I see my team members happy and succeeding, the energy is enormous. Even though it is not easy to steer the ship, I have to ensure that I handle my fellow teammates with diligence and an inexhaustible brotherly spirit, as this has been the major reason behind our successes.
How is it like playing for the national team?
Playing for the national team has been so exciting since I joined the crew on February 20th this year. Even though I now have to tighten my belt more, and practice harder, I get to enjoy various privileges such international and regional travel more often, socialize with like- minded people, and also enjoy a few limelight moments.