Sports Law Pioneer @SnoLegal talks to SportsKenya

Sometime last year, we at SportsKenya were part of a team that engaged in a campaign to get one of the pioneering ladies in Sports Law in Kenya for her studies in Spain. The campaign adopted both online and offline strategies which ran in tandem.

Sarah Ochwada @SnoLegal – Strike a Pose

We have the priviledge of bringing you Sarah Ochwada – also known as SnoLegal ( on Twitter @SnoLegal). She also does this blog here. We caught up with her on her exploits in Spain and this is what she had to say;

Q1) Hola SnoLegal! For the sake of our readers, kindly remind us what course
you are doing, the institution and duration.
 

Hola! I am studying International Sports Law at
ISDE which is the acronym for… Wait for it… Instituto Superior de Derecho y
Economia
…that’s Spanish by the way. Although my course is entirely in
English. I am learning Spanish, though…but I digress…I shall be having theory
lessons until June and then have my internship in Switzerland from July to
December. It is a 1-year intensive course.

Q2) From your interaction thus far with sports experts from the rest of the
world, what would you say their take is of the Kenyan & African sports
scene at large?

Wow! What a question!  Some foreigners
actually know a whole lot about African sports, and I’m not just talking about
my lecturers but my classmates as well. For instance one of the Spanish guys in
my class, Luis ( hello there if you’re reading this) was talking to me about
East African runners and he named them, knew the statistics from Kenya an
Ethiopia dating back years! 
Another one of my classmates from Australia, Tiran
(Oy mate!) knew about the Tikolo brothers from the Kenyan cricket team and just
some crazy statistics about Kenyan cricketers… I mean it’s really impressive
how much people outside Africa know about sports in Africa and the athletes.
I also recall having a conversation with one of my lecturers about Kenyan rugby
and another about the transfer of Kenyan players to European leagues… I guess
there is a lot of interest in sports on our continent because of the
talent on the continent which is exposed to the world stage through
international competitions. And I think this interest will persist in years to
come.

Q3)What is your take on Sports Management in Kenya and
the need for Sports Laws?

In the last year or so that I spent in Kenya before
coming to Madrid there was a positive change in terms of sports people and
federations. Other stakeholders are also making an effort to improve their
sports and consequently livelihoods of those involved. 
Management I think is the largest area that needs to be considered since you not only manage events but
teams and individuals within the sports realm. And there are so many aspects to
management too; finances, public relations, you name it.
What is lacking is
tailor-made management for each discipline, each athlete, each federation. A
blanket system may not work particularly for Kenya because of the numerous and
varying needs of the.different players involved.Understanding each unique set of needs
independently will be of great importance. 
As far as Sports Law is
concerned, the need is even greater. General practitioners of law may not fully
comprehend or appreciate the different facets of sports – from governance to contracts
and any problem that may arise from there. 
We are moving into a time where
talent pays, and sport is no longer a hobby but a livelihood. And with all
livelihoods those in the sports fraternity require experts who will understand
deeply their issues and offer sound advice & guidance to avoid disputes or
mitigate harm down the line.

Q4 a) With the new Sports Bill in place, there are quite a number of
legal hurdles that sports associations and bodies have to go through. Which 3
stick out for you?

Minor correction… Sports Act, not Bill. Once a
Bill is passed by parliament it becomes an Act. (SK:..oops our bad, Ms learned friend…)

  • Registration of Sports entities with the Sports
    Registrar. There surely will be a lot of confusion and misinformation when it
    comes to this point… Wait and see. But in a nutshell, all sports entities
    registered under the Societies Act will have to transition and be registered
    under the office of the Sports Registrar. (SK:…Note that football clubs crying foul about being targeted? )
  • Disputes regarding registration and non registration.
    These will probably be the first few cases to be dealt with by the new Sports
    Tribunal. But I bet even the understanding of how to bring matters to this
    tribunal will be a major issue, not just for federations and sports persons but
    for their legal representatives too.
  • The Sports Fund… How
    will it be run? How will federations receive money from this fund? This will be
    cause for some contention I believe.

But that being said, I look forward to the debates that will rise from
these issues because they will help our sports mature. Bring it on!

Q4 b) Which 3 legal issues do you feel have been
left out of the Sports Bill?

Oh my gosh! Now that I have had the opportunity to
learn about things… One thing which struck me is, so these federations will be
registered afresh, does that mean that they remain as societies or will we have
to give them some sort of new name to distinguish them from other legal
entities.
The other legal issues I have pondered about, I
would rather not reveal at this moment because it is better to see how things
unfold and whether we can find creative legal solutions for them as time goes
by… But trust me, there is so much we can do. Baby steps for now.

Snolegal at EPL club West Ham’s Bolery Ground – Upton Park Londonimage courtesy of SnoLegal

Q5) What has been your biggest eye-opener since you started the sports law
course?
That you can practice Sports Law in any corner of
the world but your practice may influence other lawyers in a completely
different part of the planet. For example, I have a blog devoted to Sports &Entertainment issues in Kenya. I wrote articles based on what I thought would
help Kenyans in these fields improve themselves. Lo and behold, I started getting emails and
messages from Sports Lawyers and professors as far as UK, Argentina, Spain,
Italy, Greece inquiring about a topic I had written or including some of my
articles in their research. I guess I never thought that what I.was doing for
my countrymen would have a great impact on other nations. That’s totally awesome
and incredibly humbling!
Q6) What is your favourite sport and why?

Right now it’s Archery. I started as a means of giving myself a hobby that I can take well into my old age. I have come to find
it very relaxing. And who knows, maybe in 10 years I can represent Kenya as an
Olympic archer! (SK:...make that 2 to 6 years at most, #just saying…)

Q7) After you’re done with the course, what next?
I come back home and continue with my practice, but
of course there are certain specific targets that I hope to meet maybe in the
first 3 years;

  1. Transitioning our national sports federations, such as trying to get their
    constitutions up to date and in line with the Sports Act, Kenyan constitution
    and their (respective) International Federations;
  2. (Host) at least 2 free workshops a year on sports law basics and management
    beginning with national sports federations administrators and then moving on to
    athletes;
  3. Getting either the LSK (Law Society of Kenya) to have Sports Law as part of the continuous
    education for Advocates, or at least incorporate some aspects of Sports law
    into the already existing ones;
  4. Teach. Initially I never wanted to do this but I have received offers from 2 universities in Nairobi to create a curriculum to teach undergraduates Sports
    Law as an elective module; and
  5. Continue with Sports law commentaries, TV, Radio and Newspaper. I did a
    little of this before I left but it will be great to pick it up again.

Muchas gracias and all the best in your studies, estudiante graduado de la hembra πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ 

2014 thus far, Kenya’s Sports dwindling influence?

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? 
There’s still the second half of the year to look forward to and hope that there are better and sterling performances.  The list below shows some of the sporting events to look out for; 
  • Commonwealth Games
  • IRB Rugby series 2014/15 
  • IAAF Grand Prix meets 
  • World Cup qualifiers (rugby)
  • Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers

Sports Bill – Let’s Get Kenyan Sport started

After a 10-year heart-wrenching and sometimes frustrating journey, Kenyan sport will finally get its biggest shot in the arm. As the 10th Parliament prepares to end its stay, the one thing the Kenyan sports fraternity will be grateful for is their passing of the Sports Bill ( it awaits Presidential assent to become law as early as March 2013).

Kenya 50 years oncourtesy of www.1500questions.org

At least our lamentations to our Minister one Ababu Namwamba seems to have borne fruit and history will judge him accordingly.
The Sports Bill had a number of proposals which will among others ensure Kenyan sport changes and is run more professionally as well as addressing the revenue issues which plague majority of the sports bodies.

Check this out;

  • establishment of Sports Kenya Development Authority ( mandated to oversee all sports activities, promote, co-ordinate and implement sports programs and manage sports assets and facilities countrywide among others);
  • establishment of a National Sport Fund ( to raise and manage funds for sports authority as well as advise sports federations on appropriate financial grants among others);
  • establishment of  a National Sports Institute ( to manage sports training facilities, promote research and development, check on current sporting trends and recommend appropriate practices to sports federations);
  • registration and regulation of sports organisations and licensing ( creation of Registrar of Sports organisations, licensing of sports bodies – federation, club or otherwise, inspection of financial records and books among others)

Once the Bill is signed into law, existing sports bodies will have to register afresh and in some cases might have to elect new officials for fresh mandate. This has surely not gone down well with many of the current sports officials. The Bill also prescribes regular monitoring and evaluation of sports bodies through annual reports and returns to the Registrar.

It also offers the Secretary of Sport ( equivalent to the current Minister) to intervene and dissolve a sports body in case of disputes or mismanagement. This again has caused discomfort with some of the federations such as Football Kenya Federation which believe they’re beyond any national government interference ( as FIFA honchos have always made national federations feel above the law).
The law has addressed the perennial headache of fund-raising which shall be taken care of by the Sports Fund. This will ensure future national and international representation will have sufficient funds to participate in events and also federations running their affairs smoothly.

But we in Kenyan sport should remain vigilant and ensure that the Sports Law is not just another clause in the Kenyan laws. Just like our legislators, most of the sports officials without interest in the development and growth of sport will fight back and stifle these developments. Law experts tell us that the law doesn’t operate in a vacuum and isn’t cast in stone – it is in the interests of all those involved to safeguard against its abuse. ( We know that a number of sports bodies campaigned for the removal of the clause limiting the terms of office for sports officials).

As the country marks the golden anniversary and in its over 60 years legacy in international participation in sport, the legislation will pave way for added investment and interest in Kenyan sport. It will ensure professionalism in running sports bodies and see that sport is firmly grounded in case of indiscipline.

Notice is served to all you charlatans running sport! Just like our outgoing MPs, start packing your bags too!

‘Useless’ Kenya Facts:
The 10th Parliament had quite a number of MPs who have either been sports personalities or managed sports organisations in one capacity or the other. Here are a few noteworthy ones;

  1. Peter Kenneth (MP for Gatanga) – served as Chairman for Kenya Football Federation 1996 -2000( now Federation of Kenyan Football…semantics), played for now-defunct Re-Union as goalkeeper,
  2. Alfred Khangati (MP for Kanduyi )- served as Chairman Kenya Volleyball Federation in the 1990s and
  3. Dr. Sam Ongeri (MP for Nyaribari Masaba)- served as Chairman for Athletics Kenya 1974-84, 
  4. Chris Obure (MP for Bobasi) – played for Gor Mahia in the 1970s ,
  5. Elijah Lagat (MP for Emgwen) – former marathoner who won Boston (2000), Prague (1998) and Berlin (1997) marathons respectively,
  6. John Harun Mwau ( MP for Kilome) – sharp-shooter who represented Kenya in the Olympics in 1968 and 1972 shooting category.
(…if anyone can recall any others, please help us note them)

Government of Kenya Pay-out – Great but more needs to be done…

Yesterday the Government of Kenya (GoK if you like) hosted sporting contingents that represented the country in the various sporting events ( All-Africa Games held in Maputo-Mozambique; World Athletics Championships held in Daegu- South Korea as well as Youth Commonwealth Games at the Isle of Man).
On card was the (un)official handing back of flags handed to the team captains by the Head of State. The more significant part was the handing out of bonuses which had been promised to medal winners of these events.
This has been a laudable feat by the GoK since they initiated this a few years ago. Mr. Pres, though went on to make ‘pronouncements’ where we shall put them (GoK) into task;

  • 47 stadiums – this one is quite ambitious and laughable to say the least. While we seek to develop sports development at the lower levels, this is one area we have not been successful. Look at the existing infrastructure and it paints a sorry state. We do not have proper steps to develop and maintain grounds, sporting clubs and related facilities. We have also not done a good job to providing incentive to private entrepreneurs to encourage investment in the same. We have not safeguarded what would be some major sporting grounds such as has been seen in Nakuru’s Afraha stadium, Nyeri’s Ruringu stadium, to name but a few.

So Mr. President, please check again, this might be paying lip-service to sport.

  • Bidding and Hosting International events – in the last 20 years we have managed to host some good international events. But if you look carefully, EXCEPT for the All-Africa Games in 1987, the rest have been more or less single discipline events; the most recent Africa Athletics Championships last year in August. Most of these have also been for less than a week going if we look at time spent within our borders. That informs our lack of facilities for hosting fairly large teams of participants. Sample this, if we bid for the next Commonwealth Games, where would you host the contingents of over 40 countries? Can our infrastructure withstand added pressures of the visitors ( traffic especially)?

We need to stop making populist statements just for the sake and carefully look into seeing to it we develop sports centres which can support modest numbers of visiting and local sporting enthusiasts…learn a thing or two from Munich’s Olympic Stadium.

  • Sports Lottery – this is another of the proposed developments which is included in the work-in-progress, yet-to-be-tabled Sports Bill. Another noble idea that seeks to raise funds for competing teams to major sports events such as the Olympic Games. We have a big one in 2012 in London ( which also coincides with the Queen of England’s Diamond Jubilee…see the significance?). Given Kenyans’ love for lottery and such like activities, this is a process that needs to be done with proper audits and openness to avoid the fraud that plagues such processes. It would become another major flop if any undue influence and inconsistencies are detected.

Mr. President, this is the part where you ought to admonish the Minister for Youth & Sports asking him where the ‘hell’ the Sports Bill is. Your term in office is slowly edging to its sunset & what better way for the youth and sporting talent to remember you than a Bill recognising their worth and contribution as well as formalising sports development in the country?

  • Sports Fund – though it might seem unrelated, I would wish to add this to your plate for consideration. Why? Well we have seen many a sporting talent blossom in their short-stints or even in their fairly modest careers only to fall into hard times once they are in retirement. Some have fallen off to the need of rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol abuse. Well such a Fund would be set aside to lump an athlete’s part-winnings and bonuses almost like the retirement funds and one can access these in their later lives. It will go a long way in inculcating a culture of saving in our current generation which is out to spend every single cent in sight.

Mr. President, once again, consult with your worthy economic advisors and the retired both current and soon-to-be would be in awe of you for remembering their fate.

Over to you, GoK!

Kenya Budgetary Estimates 2011-12 – What is in it for Sports?

Coming at a time when the Kenyan Government is easily finding it hard to raise revenues as well as make capital expenditure, we in the sports industry have put our lot in there too. From the Budget Statement – Fiscal Year 2011-12, as presented by Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, a similar token given to the development of sport in the country in 2008-9 by then Minister Amos Kimunya makes a comeback.

Quoting the statement,
“…apart from engaging in these activities, I would also like to encourage them to nurture their talents in the realm of sports. Time and time again, our young people have made this country proud by their exemplary performance in the international tournaments in various disciplines. (… all good so far)
I believe that a clear investment in sports backed by proper management, can turn this activity, which attracts thousands of our young people into a sustainable employer. Our youth should be able to follow their dreams and establish careers in sports ( ….well put Mr. Minister Sir)
To this end, I have allocated KShs. 210 million ( 1 million per constituency) towards competitive sports for youth countrywide. This will be used for purchase of trophies, monetary award to competing teams and compensation for officials overseeing this initiative. ( …now you sound ambiguous Sir, which sports discipline & that amount’s too measly unless you hold 1 tournament per year)
The private companies under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budgets to match this amount, at least on a shilling-for-shilling basis.” (…nice one throwing the challenge to private corporate firms making obscene profits but committing measly amounts to sport BUT that word CSR word just craps me out! )

Not belabouring the points above, we believe there is more that the Ministry could have done to give incentive to the sports industry. Just like we have said before (and he’s also quoted), sports can be an employer of many if the right investments and management are put into place.

  • Our infrastructure has suffered considerably and one way they can aid this is by offering tax incentives to private investors willing to build stadia, sports arenas and community centres. In fact some of the KShs.210 m should go to building of community centres, since a one-off amount is more like a quick-fix but no long term work envisioned beyond that.
  • Tax waivers should be accorded to suppliers of sports equipment too to entice clubs and communities to invest in these longer term projects.
  • Still on a longer term basis, and especially with the new dispensation having counties some options for private investment through infrastructure bonds should be pursued.
  • Allow and encourage counties and local governments to introduce various preferential measures to support the sports industry. Most of the local governments have lost control of parcels of land meant for stadia and other sports centres making it difficult to move forward.
  • Tax holiday to the winning individuals and teams across the world?
    Here’s a sample of what some top officials in Nigeria are doing to entice the private companies to invest in sports.

As for now, nice effort Mr. Minister, but this is to us at SportsKenya is just a drop in the ocean! What say you good people of Kenya?

Stadium Management assures Kenyans of good job being done…

On Wednesday the Sports Stadia Management Board  (SSMB) called media houses and other PR agencies as they sought to reassure Kenyans of the progress being made by the Chinese who are renovating the Kasarani Sports Complex ( aka the rather boring ,Moi International Sports Complex). The works shall cost the Kenyan taxpayer an estimated KShs. 900 million. It is scheduled to reopen mid 2011.

Chinese Contractors from Shengli Engineering Construction Co work at the Kasarani Sports Complex – Image courtesy of Nation Media Group 

The PR officer Rakki Asman was resplendent in a helmet as he took the team around the works being done on Kenya’s premiere sporting venue. On paper all these works look great and shall go a long way in helping Kenya’s case for hosting major venues. The downside is that we have not developed our own capacity for building such works and worse is that we ran down the grounds making them a pale shadow of themselves in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The Government decision to form the Sports Stadia Management Board in 2003 was a great decision and though they have managed to rescue the decline of 2 of Kenya’s biggest stadia, they have not enjoyed much progress with the other grounds across Kenyan towns. A suggestion would be to invite bids for developing these grounds and eventually privatising them since the public corporation seems mired in less capital for infrastructural developments. Another alternative maybe is what the Government has started with Government paper and raise funds through the bond market and award contracts to interested parties; building the grounds before eventually releasing them to local authorities.
Whichever way we look at it, we SERIOUSLY NEED bigger and better grounds for our sports sector to thrive. And to quote Mr. Minister…’take sports as serious business’!


In Related News;
The Sports Stadia Management Board is calling for applications to fill the positions of;

  • Chief Accountant
  • Marketing Officer
  • Assistant Aquatic Stadium Manager (how many of these would we probably have in Kenya???)
  • Human Resource Officer

Commonwealth Games: Kenya names her squad but ….

Counting less than 12 days to the Commonwealth Games which start October 3rd – 14th, various sports disciplines have named their squads for the   Games with some already setting up camp at the Kasarani grounds and others too. While the lion’s share shall be taken by traditional disciplines such as athletics, boxing, we have the current ‘fresh kids-on-the-blocks’ in rugby  (from the Rugbykenya blog) and swimming to look out to boost the medal haul. As expected the Government along with the National Olympic Committee(NOC) shall provide the support needed and facilitate the sports people trip to the Asian sub-continent. 

With various concerns about security and hygiene being expressed by inspection teams from participating countries, Kenya’s NOC Chairman’s Kip Keino words did not sound too convincing and though we shall not banish the Indian organisers, we do hope they put their house in order in good time. It will also a test to future Commonwealth Games organisers as the challenges facing the country seem to hamper sport in a big way.
As for the Kenyan contingent, we shall cheer you on and look for a healthy and well-spread out medal haul. We shall be represented in the following disciplines;
Individual Sports:
Athletics – 60 athletes ( with 16 in the paraplegic Games)
Boxing – 10 boxers
Swimming – 10
Cyclists – 9
Shooting – 6
Badminton – 6
Lawn Ball Bowling – 4
Weightlifting – 4
Table Tennis – 4
Lawn Tennis – 4
Archery – 3

Team Sports:
Rugby ( 7s team)

Sports Policy : – Mr. Minister less talk, more walk , please, will get it done…

As is the case with every new Minister for Youth and Sports Affairs, there is lots to say but much more to do than portends to be. Mr Minister, as you aptly put it, there is a ‘big’ matter of the Sports Bill which ought to help administer sports bodies in Kenya some which have operated under rogue characters while others seem like monopolies tied to few individuals tightly running the discipline(s).

From our brief there are some more issues which though on paper are not being done. Our nosy selves found this little policy document which among others is supposed to have a National Sports Institute who’s vision is …”be a leading institution in sports training and capacity building in the country”. There are the following bodies (centres) supposed to be set up under this Institute;

  1. Centre for Sports Science
  2. Centre for Documentation and Information.
  3. Centre for Sports Marketing
  4. Sports Heritage Centre

None is in existence as we speak. Fair though we might say on the intended establishment of the International Sports Academy at Kasarani, Nairobi.
There is the other sporting body that is under your Ministry going by the name Sports Stadia Management Board – which has become like a dumping ground for political cronies. They may have spruced up two of the countries biggest stadia, but that doesn’t stop there. There are more 5 stadiums in need of reclaiming, renovating and generating the much-needed income that the Board is mandated to do. And no don’t give us the charade that was the naming rights of one of the stadias, you lost and LOST BIG in the past 2010 World Cup ( by not hosting a single nation even for a day!).
Mr. Minister, there is the small bit that we have tackled down there of alcohol and the ban in advertising and sponsorship(s). With Tobacco out ( which almost entirely killed Kenyan rallying), and now alcohol, what options are there for sports federations to pursue and what is the line Ministry doing to cushion our fratenity against this?
Mr. Minister, we are about to go to another major meet in the name of Commonwealth Games. Shall we have the usual retinue of 50 athletes and 100 officials ‘bloating our budget’ yet coming home with less than 10 medals? As a Ministry, please help us save this much-needed spending by sending ONLY those deserving to be there.
As a Ministry too, work with the Finance Ministry to help get tax holidays, tax rebates for those willing to invest in sport. As an example, please travel to Brazil and see what they are doing hoping to become one of the few countries to host the Olympics and World Cup back-to-back. Being an emerging economy, we can learn so much from their success and see what can aid our fledging sports industry ( You might also want to make time for Cuba seeing as it the lost glory in our boxing team, fondly named ‘The Hit Squad’.
Oops before we forget, there is the other matter of Football in Kenya…you know as we do, the ‘magnanimity’ of the world body FIFA in running the sport. We currently have a fairly organised local league which if well-managed and supported can see us become the ‘pride of Africa’. The elections are around the corner. We shall be watching your move and that of the prospective officials…burn the midnight oil reading all those statutes that FIFA might use against the country and this document from Transparency International on local sports but for goodness sake, save the sport.
Well as we said, the less talk, the more you’ll get the work done! Ours is to remain vigilant for the sake of the country and our sportsmen!

It is OFFICAL – Alcohol Bill in Kenya ends Sports Sponsorships

With the signature appended on the paper, Kenya’s Pres. threw the alcohol industry into a new era. Gone will be the creative ads that have graced your screens, radios and billboards among others; your favourite drink will have larger imprints warning you of the harmful effects alcohol is likely to have on your health and that of your future generations.
In an earlier post, we had lamented about this given the amount of sponsorship and support accorded to sport by alcohol manufacturing firms in the country and the region too. Some firms seem to have read the script early and EABL in some mind-boggling changes dropped sponsorships from rugby, football and the premiere sport they have always supported, golf. (Wonder what happened to Tusker Sports…)
The tragedy for sport is that now more than ever there is need for companies to support this budding industry. The challenge though is seen in the form of companies being forced to enter into what some like to call CSR activities and also the sports federations developing very tight proposals for the companies they wish to target to approach for this.
If the Minister of Youth Affairs and  Sports is to be believed then let’s hope to have robust sports industry….

Football Kenya Elections in October …..Lord redeem us from the Circus !

An announcement coming from the Kenyan football authorities notes that we have an active month in September with branch elections and the culmination being elections of ‘new’ officials in October. From behind the scenes, there is bound to be some interesting times on the game which is slowly making it back on our main menu of sports offering if the KPL games are anything to go by.

Our prayer is that we shall see some fresh faces and ‘clean hands’ if we hope for the game to move to the next level. Given the shenanigans associated with the game, no suprises if all sorts of vested interests start sprouting out of the woodwork. We all remember the 1990s when one Maina Kariuki – he of the Coca-Cola Africa fame who gave one of the best presentations of a contesting official in the Kenyan sports scene only to sink into the mire of Kenyan football.
His reign characterised some of the lows that the game would have and we all know what the story has been with the current officials. The positives have been cultivated by SuperSport who invested in developing the game and we hope they shall insist on some better management coming through especially if our national team is to hope to feature in continental and the 2014 World Cup.
We also hope FIFA’s ‘briefcase officials’ shall not show their hand in these elections. They have been part of the problem insisting on non-interference even when the game seems headed for the dogs from the Government. They have not helped much even when their own FIFA Goal Project seems to be a non-starter locally.
Remember we have a new Minister for Youth & Sports in one Paul Otuoma and surely hope he gives us one memorable thing if he is to make his mark in this under-rated but full of potential Ministry. Let’s hope to get some semblance of order and may the best win! More info on this announcement here.