OPINION

As we hail athletes, address sports woes

Kenyans once again shone brightest yesterday as Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei took the London Marathon by storm. The verve in the streets of London was heightened by performance by Kenyan women runners who took four of the top five slots. 

The much-touted threat from Britain’s Mo Farah was not to be, as the majestic Kipchoge once again came within cusp of immortality and being declared marathon’s greatest ever.

  But as Kenyans glow in the glory of our marathon greats, Kenyans are rightly baffled by at what shackles our team sports from replicating the heroes and heroins who continue to raise our flag high in athletics. We can not wish for worthier ambassadors.

As flash of positive display in football, volleyball, rugby and boxing have shown, we have the capacity to be a sporting lighthouse.What seems to derail team sport efforts  have everything to do with  mostly self-inflicted setbacks. There is a bent to self-serving interests at most sports federations.

Boxing, for example, is currently entangled in factional wrangles. There was the ill-advised bid by the ministry to interfere in Rugby elections.Our Rugby Sevens  have had indifferent outings lately. 

We have witnessed repeated bungling when it comes to football preparations at both club and national team levels. The common denominator is failure to attract sponsorship and motivate sportsmen and women. Just last week, junior athletes who had done the country proud by hauling dozens of medals in Morocco staged  a sit-in over allowances.

Jubilee Party rolled out a road map with specific goals.It’s important that this government revisits the pledges it made to Kenyans. Sports have potential to provide economic lifeline to tens of thousands of Kenyans.The government should facilitate exploitation of talent. It  has been a false start so far.

      Sports ministry officials have been accused of being complicit in integrity matters staining sports. There must be more concerted efforts by new Sports Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed and team to ensure fidelity to the legal, policy and regulatory outlays that are currently being bent or abused.

Harambee Stars training programme as we look to Cairo for CHAN is finally on track with friendlies lined up. Hopefully there will be no further hiccups with allowances, equipment and other needs.

As we once again hail the great performance of our runners in London, the government needs to be reminded to act the major stakeholder in sports development that it ought to be.

The cornerstone of justice is premised on evidence of any wrong committed. Those with other parameters  in seeking vengeance must get a taste of the law themselves. The avalanche of morbid fear the elderly in parts of this country have to shake off daily, makes a mockery of the presumption of innocent till proven guilty. 

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