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A Tale of Two Goalkeepers as Kenya Women’s Football Team Clinches Gold

Kenyan Football team celebrating on the field.
The Special Olympics Kenya Women’s Football Team celebrates after they win gold at the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.

25 June 2023. During this week’s screen of the full-length documentary “All Inclusive,” goalkeeper Marystella Ndolwa, one of the athletes profiled in the film, was hesitant to make any predictions about Special Olympics Kenya women’s football/soccer team’s upcoming gold medal match against Special Olympics Hungary. Instead, she took the time to thank her coaches, the delegation organizers and staff at Special Olympics Kenya. “I wouldn’t be here without you,” she told them. “Please stand up and introduce yourselves so everyone knows who you are.”

In the audience, Ndolwa’s teammate Margaret Maluki, also a goalkeeper, watched the recounting of the player selection process at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi and team practices. She says, “That’s when we got ready to get the winning energy.” She explains, “Teamwork is the key to a team. This ensures that teammates learn from each other and play different roles in ensuring that a team succeeds.”

Sounds of Kenya’s Fans in the Stands
The fans of Special Olympics Kenya women’s football/cheer football team cheering for the team to win gold.

Moments before Kenya’s final match against Special Olympics Hungry on 24 June, Kenya’s many fans wondered which Kenya keep would step onto the pitch. It turns out they both did. Maluki started as goalkeeper but Ndolwa also participated as a player on the field. Kenya dominated the match with many shots on goal but when Hungary took a try in Kenyan territory, Maluki was there to make the saves.

The results speak for themselves. Kenya clinched gold 2-0 against Hungary but it wasn’t easy. After the match, Maluki reported, “The game was very hard. Sometimes I got nervous that it wouldn’t go our way but we managed to do it.”

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