|At the establishment of Kenya Navy in the beginning of sixties, the naval personnel used the National Youth Service playing grounds since they did not have one of their own. The Kenya Naval Base, recognizing the integral part games and sports played in nourishing the mind and the well-being of the naval personnel, embarked in earnest on the construction of various playing fields for different events.
In 1971, a football pitch, a hockey pitch and a running track were all constructed to the required standards and have been serving their purposes well since then. Kenya Navy has undertaken sporting activities with the same zeal it has any other activity. Today almost all major sporting activities are represented.
From the early sixties the Navy has boasted of a strong and formidable team in this discipline. This was proved in the 70's when it won several championships at the Coast Region. In 1993 the Navy team was runners-up in the Coast Province Championships and managed to win the Best Overall Team Trophy for three consecutive years.
One of its most talented players is Senior Private Odendo who also plays for the National Team and has participated in several tournaments internationally, with brilliant results. He was a member of the National Team that toured India in 1994. The success of the team has been achieved through the guidance and skillful management of WOII Muoki (Coach) and WOII Mutiso (Team Manager).
The Navy has regularly participated in the Defence Forces Athletics Championships at regional, national and international forums. Due to the emphasis placed on this discipline, a strong team is in place to challenge the sister services, the Army and the Air Force. Senior Sergeant Mogusu and Corporal Onchiri are among the athletes who have created a mark in the short races in the country. In 2004 Corporal Timothy Cherigat out-sprinted some of the world's top athletes and won the Boston 2004 Cross Country Championships held in Boston, United States of America.
Kenya Navy Boxing Team has been in existence since the 70's when boxers like Corporal Kahoro and Senior Private Lemmy 'cobra' Katibi represented the service in many local and national tournaments, enabling them to be ranked best during national encounters. The team has participated in several Defence Forces organized tournaments and emerged best team in the Military. Indeed they secured places in the Armed Forces Amateur Boxing Association (AFABA) Team, which has been the stepping-stone to the national team.
In 1986, Navy Boxing Team participated in the Olympic Games trials where WOII Lwanyonyi scooped the best boxer award but narrowly lost in the semi-finals. Under the patronage of Major Omondi as the officer in-charge, the team has continued to shine in many tournaments, and scooped many trophies. In the year 2003, the Team was declared the best team overall after clinching the 39th Navy Day Celebrations Tournament held at Kenya Navy Base, Mtongwe.
The team has so far placed two boxers in the National Team. The boxers have managed to represent Kenya in many International Defence Forces and civilian organized games. Senior Private Ndere and Private Black Moses Mathenge are members of the team who have lifted high the flag of the Navy and the Armed Forces at large.
The team commands respect in the Coast Province and in the entire Defence Forces for the manner in which it has conducted its affairs and the discipline it has displayed when participating in all games. It has produced good referees and judges, among them WOI Mwita, WOII Marwa, WOII Lwanyonyi and Sergeant Ngunjiri. These service personnel are also members of the Armed Forces Amateur Boxing Association (AFABA) Management Board. It also continues to feature in the provincial tournaments to cultivate good relationships and uphold the sporting spirit.
The Navy football team was formed in 1966 under the captainship of Major (Rtd) Ziro. Initially, the team was formed so as to be playing only when foreign military ships called at the Mombasa port. In 1968, the Navy Team was admitted to play in Division III of Mombasa District League.
Due to good performance, they were promoted play in the Division I League in 1970. Due to their spirited campaign in which they beat F.C. Kenatco, they were promoted to play in the National Super League. Two years later, they were promoted to play their trade in the National Premier League. However, the team suffered a set-back when the team was dissolved and integrated with F.C. Ulinzi due to a change in policy regarding sports. Presently, the bulk of Ulinzi F.C. players have had their initiation at the Kenya Navy.
TUG OF WAR
The first Kenya Navy Recruits joined the Royal Navy Training Team (RNTT) in 1965 and formed the first Tug-of-War team to be engaging the visiting Royal Navy sailors. This team included, among others, Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Njagi, late WOI Lanogwa, WOI (Rtd) G Githinji, D Kariuki, Mbugua, P Kamau, G. Waweru, Adhinga, Wanyoike Kihara and Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Odera. Around 1968, members of the first team were retiring due to work engagements but fresh recruits joined to strengthen the team. They included Sergeant (Rtd) Waruhari, late WOII Otis, WOI Kenga, WOI (Rtd) Ongale, WOI Adalla WOI Bolo , late WOI Ochengo, WOI (Rtd) Chipa and WOII (Rtd) Kipngetich.
In 1977, the team opened its doors to the public and started competing with other Coast Region teams like the Kenya Police, Kenya Railways, Kenya Ports Authority and the General Service Unit. The Kenya Navy team emerged victorious and was crowned overall Coast Champions.
During the 1978 Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) Show in Mombasa, a major tournament was organized pitting the United Stated Navy, the Kenya Navy, the Kenya police, the General Service Unit, Kenya Port Authority, Kenya Railways and Bamburi Cement Factory teams. Kenya Navy team won the tournament and was selected to represent coast region in the International ASK Show in Nairobi. The team suffered great disappointment, however, when the event was withdrawn from the national competitions due to what was considered adverse effects on the participants. In one instance, for example, this event turned tragic when some participants died while others became paralyzed after a hotly-contested contest. It is now relegated to an entertainment event whenever there is a celebration.
Handball games were introduced in the Defence Forces in 1985 upon invitation to Tanzania. The sport was among those included in the Tanzania Armed Forces Sports Festivals in 1987 in which the Kenya Navy Team participated for the first time. Senior Private Musungu (now Senior Sergeant) and Corporal (Rtd) Nzumbu were selected to join the Ulinzi Team. The Ulinzi Team is the current Commonwealth Clubs Championships Trophy holders.
In 1999, the Navy Team won the Madaraka Day National Finals and later participated in the National League, finishing a respectable 4, placing behind formidable opponents like National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), Ulinzi Stars and the Artillery Brigade. The "Dream Team" who formed this winning outfit included Captain Wekesa, Senior Sergeant Musungu, Sergeants Kinyua and Musembi, and Corporals Leting, Muiga, Njoroge, Lolmakar, Ebenyo, Lobro, Aiwo, Kisanya and Kidoyi.
The current Ulinzi Ladies Team includes Kenya Navy players Senior Privates Nancy Chepkemboi, Amira Said, Nelly Cheptanui and Gladys Chemosit. They also turn out for the National Team and have traveled widely. Senior Private Nancy Chepkemboi and Senior Private Gladys Chemosit also participated in the All Africa Military Games (CISM) while Senior Sergeant Musungu, Senior Sergeant Nzumbu were in the men's team as Referee and Team Captain, respectively.
Tae Kwon Do was introduced in the Navy in 1985 by two international instructors, Senior Sergeant Ochami and Corporal (Rtd) Mwinyi. After intensive training two years later, the Navy Team emerged National Champions and Defence Forces Champions for three consecutive years.
The Kenya Navy Tae Kwon Do team has been performing demonstrations at National Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) Shows successfully. In 1987 it was among the best Defence Forces teams that performed demonstrations during the 4 All Africa Games in Nairobi. A number of Kenya Navy team players have also been integrated into the Ulinzi Team, whose performance at the National and international forums have been impressive.
In 2002, the Kenya Navy team managed to send a sailor, Corporal Gitonga to the World Military Games held in South Korea. Currently the team is under Senior Sergeant Ochami (Coach), Corporal Okinda (Team Manager) and Captain Luvusi as Officer in charge.