This year started with a lot of optimism given that the then newly elected Government had come with a basket full of promises…pardon my pessismist self who takes politicos and sports officials with a pinch of salt.
Well they had even the Sports Bill which was finally passed last year to provide grounds for new dawn in Kenyan sports. But alas!
Starting with the people’s game of football, Kenyan clubs were bundled out of the pre-qualifying stages of continental club championships. That it was Kenya’biggest clubs reduced to cheer leaders tells a lot of what needs to be done to the same. This showed the need to streamline club activity in Kenya.
Onto to athletics, even though Kenyan athletes made a good showing at the continental championships in Kampala, our rivals in Ethiopia and other East African countries are no longer shoo-ins to be taken for granted. An interesting observation too must be made on our long distance runners especially marathon. While Kenyan has a wealth of talent, their margin of success is restricted to 2-3 wins before fading off. Look at Ethiopia, the same athletes who ran the 5K & 10K have now switched to the half and full marathons…it’s only a matter of time…
Volleyball, and our Kenyan ladies have always been continental queens….? Well not anymore! Losing the North Africans, our sisters were given a reality check on what other countries have been doing and are capable of doing. There has also been such a disconnect between continental and world championships. Kenya has performed dismally in the latter and Kenya Volleyball Federation doesn’t have clue of what to do.
Cricket, oh the Englishman’s game! Well Kenya has sunk so low, that we couldn’t qualify for the Twenty 20 tournament played by both Test and non-Test nations. What is more worrying is that our neighbours Uganda and Rwanda are developing better teams and it’s only a matter of time before we are dethroned.
As for rugby, it’s a mixed bag with the 7s team tempering our expectations while the 15s side made small but significant strides in South Africa as we wait for the Worl Cup qualifiers later thus year.
Boxing too is reporting a bit of life after being knocked out for several years off the national sports agenda.
- What has been symptomatic across the board is lethargic sports officials. We have been there before on the need to elect pragmatic officials. It’s an ideal situation but tenable for some if not majority of the sports bodies.
- Laxity from the Government. While some sports associations behave like untouchables, they’re more that the Secretary of Sports and Culture can do than the mere pronouncements. For starters, invoking the Sports Bill and its statutes is one way.
- Accountability – audits on the sports bodie should be regular and recommendations acted upon. This should be from both Government and sponsoring companies. When players go on national duty and come back without having been paid their allowances is an abomination in this time and age.
- International best practices – when our sports people participate in international events, what do they learn? Or are they busy visitng other less important business as opposed to taking notes on their call of duty?
- Commonwealth Games
- IRB Rugby series 2014/15
- IAAF Grand Prix meets
- World Cup qualifiers (rugby)
- Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers