Friday, 31 August 2007

Total Motorshow

This year's Motor-show will be held from September 7-9, 2007 at Ngong Racecourse. Once again it's sponsored by top oil company Total Kenya.It is organised through the Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI) and is expected to attract leading motor company and related service providers in the Kenya market as well as international exhibitors.

Isn't she a beauty ?

This year's event will see a departure from the past where the event was right in the city centre at the KICC grounds. Event chair Mr. Claude Mwende stated that the event had grown in leaps and bounds thus the shift. It will also have more interactive events such as 4x4 off-road demo, test drives for saloon cars as well as having the golf course which comes at a heavily subsidised rate and requires no membership.

Total Kenya have been the title sponsors of the show since its inception 15 years ago. According to Total Kenya Managing Director Bertrand Fontanges, "The new venue is an exciting opportunity, easier to drive to and park in and provision for exclusive bus service for spectators."

Another activity taking place is the Fuel Consumption Test set to establish really meaningful benchmarks for motorists' info. The Show director Gavin Bennett of Church Orr and Associates, the event organizer unveiled the programme of the 3 day event. "The first day, a Friday, will be a corporate and media day, with a serious business focus. Buyers will be able to see and compare every new vehicle on the Kenya market – everything from the smallest motorcycle to the largest truck - in the same place at the same time, along with all related parts, accessories and services.

Besides the biggest exhibit of cars, SUVs, 4WDs, pick-ups, trucks and buses ever arrayed in Kenya. There will be areas for agricultural equipment, the heavyweights of the construction industry, and the 'mean machines' of motor-sport."

What to expect !

For those Kenyans who haven't had the chance to see the over-hyped Hummer (that is if you missed the official launch by General Motors-Kenya on 30th August and also haven't seen the other vehicles ridden by our 'pollutricians'. This is a must-go for all vehicle enthusiasts and I'll surely be in there.

Rugby World Cup 2007- French Connection

Haka! Tackle, side-step and it’s a Try! It’s back! That crunching game, lots of sweat, sprints, tackles and all there is to one of the games with most contact outside wrestling. New Zealand –All Blacks, Australia-Wallabies, South Africa-Springboks are some the main teams that will battle it out to dethrone England.
True it seems like a few years ago but that’s 4 for sure. Remember the Johnny Wilkinson kicks- well some rugby purists still believe England ‘robbed’ the Cup off the Australia’s Wallabies . Again, the same would be assumed of the Springboks who won the Cup in 1995 making an unprecedented comeback. What with Mandela wearing the Springboks jersey! Any one would play their hearts out to receive the Webb Ellis trophy from the world’s most famous living being.
Marking 20 years since the Rugby World Cup started, the game has continued to enjoy exposure and appeal to a wide world audience. This is especially so after the 1995 World Cup when one Jonah Lomu tore on every tackle and hold to take the All Blacks to the Final only to be stopped by an inspired Springboks.
Back to 2007, what do we expect?
Starting with the classification of the countries playing Rugby Union, there are 3 classes;
Tier 1: Argentina, Australia, England, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales
Tier 2: has a number of teams but the following will be playing in the World Cup; Canada, Fiji, Georgia, Japan, Namibia, Portugal, Romania, Samoa, Spain, Tonga, USA
Tier 3: has majority of the rest of rugby union playing countries including Kenya.
We’ll take a look at the top tier teams who basically have the best chance of wining the Cup (no offence to the 2nd tier nations but truth be told, you’re miles away from the prize)
First up;

New Zealand:

Going by the colours they wear they are the best-known rugby playing nation in the world. The game is so big in the country it is a national sport. The All Blacks as we know them are also the most successful nation to date. They have won the Tri-Nation tourney 7 out of 11 times it has been held. They also have the most players in the International Rugby Hall of Fame. They gave us the player who demystified rugby and made it appeal to a wider world audience the life-size, speedy giant of a player, Jonah Lomu.
They are also better known for the haka-a traditional Maori posture dance-meant to intimidate opponents as they prepare for ‘battle’. This is performed before any of their games. They look set to win this year’s Cup but the rest of the nations have been preparing and it will be no walkover.
Some major players this year include colourful wing Joe Rokocoko, Sitiveni Sivivatu,Tony Woodcock, captain Richie McCaw to name but a few.
They are currently ranked no. 1 in the IRB rankings a position they have maintained for a while now.
Official uniform colours: Black shirt and short & socks too with a silver fern on both.

They are also known as the Wallabies. This is one of the most successful countries in the World Cup having won it twice in 1991 and 1999, losing out narrowly to England in the Final in 2003. Competitively the team plays the Tri-Nations together with New Zealand and South Africa. They also play the Bledisloe Cup with New Zealand and the Mandela Cup with South Africa.
It has the highest number of players inducted in the Rugby Union including the unforgettable David Campese and Nick Farr-Jones. Their main sponsor is Qantas the region’s main air carrier thud the nickname Qantas Wallabies.
The team is ranked 2nd in the IRB rankings.
Official uniform colours: golden yellow shirts with green stars and jungle green shorts

They are also known as les tricolors or les bleus. This is the host country of this year’s World Cup. It is part of the northern hemisphere playing nations in the Six Nations tourney, they have won it 14 times. The country has managed to qualify for all the World Cups, having managed to get to the Finals twice.
They are currently the 3rd placed team in the IRB rankings.
Official uniform colour: France customarily plays in white-trimmed blue shirts with blue shorts and red socks. The French emblem is a red badge with a rooster.

South Africa:

This is Africa’s best representative and only nation to win the World Cup. They are popularly known as the Springboks or more culturally, amaBokoboko. They were out in the cold for the better part of the 1980s and early 90s due to the boycott by world nations (as protest to the apartheid form of government in place during the said period). However their comeback was one of their sweetest moments and most magical having to host the tourney and winning it before the home crowd. The image is stuck forever in our minds as Nelson Mandela-then President of new South Africa handing the Webb Ellis trophy to Francois Pienaar-captain of the Springboks then.
They have produced some outstanding players as seen in Francois Pienaar-captain in 1995, Chester Williams-a regular 7s player, Namibian-born Jan Ellis.
Currently they are a force to reckon with in world rugby . The captain is one John Smit.
IRB rankings: 4th position
Official uniform colours: green & golden shirts with a golden springbok emblem and white shorts.


They represent the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland both part of United Kingdom. They are regular participants of the 6-Nation tournament having won it 10 times. They have participated in all previous World Cups getting eliminated at the quarterfinals in almost all.
Though they have shown many weaknesses they seem to be emerging a force in Europe. One of the finest players to grace the sport, outside centre Brian O'Driscoll who is the current captain and Ireland’s leading try scorer. Other class acts include Gordon D’Arcy, Denis Leamy, Paul O’ Connell, Ronan O’Gara.
They rank 5th in the IRB rankings.
Official uniform colour: Olive green shirts and white shorts

Nicknamed Los Pumas it is the best team in the Americas playing rugby union. They have managed to participate in all World Cups since 1987. Argentina is currently the only International Rugby Board (IRB) tier one classed nation that has no regular competition, such as the Six Nations and the Tri Nations.
NOTE: The Six Nations features England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Wales (top northern hemisphere basically) while the Tri-Nations has Australia, New Zealand and South Africa (southern hemisphere rugby playing nations). The Pumas current captain is Agustín Pichot, and the current head coach is Marcelo Loffreda. Argentina has managed from its form in the international arena to accomplish quite a few upset victories. It will be a nation to watch with the team likely to get to the quarterfinals or thereabout.
They are 6th in the IRB rankings.
Official uniform colour: sky blue & white-stripped shirts and white shorts.

Funnily it doesn’t have a nickname like other top rugby nations; it is the current holder of the World Cup having upset Australia in the last World Cup with a last-gasp drop kick by one Johnny Wilkinson. It’s part of the Six Nations rugby nations having won it 25 times. Their home ground is Twickenham Stadium. They have famous players such as Martin Johnson, Bill Beaumont and Johnny Wilkinson who will hope to shake off recurrent injuries to produce a magical performance.
IRB Rankings:They have not been as consistent dropping in the rankings to 7th position
Official uniform colours: white shorts, navy socks with white tops, and a white shirt with a red rose embroidered on it.

They are also part of the 6-Nations tourney winning it 23 times. They have been a consistent World Cup playing nation with the best performance being the 3rd position in the inaugural one in 1987. They were the hosts in 1999. They finish up the First Tier teams as listed by IRB.
IRB rankings: 8th
Official uniform colour:White shorts and shirts with a logo of the Welsh flag on the shirt

As it is with football, the Italian national rugby team is nicknamed the Azzurri or a more appropriate one, the “Gladiators of Rome”. They were the latest entry into the Nations Cup making it the 6-Nation in 2000. They have participated in every World Cup but have only managed pool wins.
IRB rankings- 9th
Official uniform colour: Blue shirts and blue shorts

They form one of the countries of the United Kingdom. They are consistent entrant in the World Cup since it’s inception in 1987. The best they ever got was a 3rd place play-off with New Zealand’s All Blacks. They are currently ranked 11th on the IRB standings. They are also part of the 6-Nation tourney.
Official uniform colour: Dark-blue shirts and shorts with white flanks

Those playing in the French World Rugby Cup include;

· Samoa 10th on IRB rankings
· Fiji 12th
· Canada 13th
· Tonga 14th
· USA 15th
· Romania 16th
· Georgia17th
· Japan 18th
· Russia 19th ( didn’t qualify for World Cup)
· Uruguay 20th ( didn’t qualify for World Cup)
· Spain 21st ( didn’t qualify for World Cup)
· Portugal 22nd
· Korea 23rd ( didn’t qualify for World Cup)
· Namibia 24th
We'll be looking at the second part as we preview the Rugby World Cup starting in a week's time.Macaca where do we go as you enjoy the games ?

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Success in Osaka......???

While the rest of you are cheering the wins of the 42km men's marathon, men's3000m steeplechase and the women's 800m by Kenyan athletes,methinks we ought to be really critical of the performances displayed. True we have done better so far the Helsinki 2005 where we could only manage 1 gold 2 silver and 4 bronze medals.
In my thinking the ONLY boon is the 800m women's race where Jepkosgei made easy meal of other ladies beating them to the tape comprehensively. But that's it for me in the Osaka so far. Why do I say so?
I'll give 2 examples here;
First the men's 10000m : 20 years ago one of Kenya's finest the late Paul Kipkoech did Kenya proud by winning Kenya her second Gold in the championships after Billy Konchellah's sprint in the 800m had surprised everyone including himself. This win was a boon to Kipkoech since he had played second fiddle to another world-class athlete in the world cross-country races for 2 years. He had also won by a comfortable gap putting the result beyond doubt.
Fast forward to 2007: One Kenenisa Bekele -Ethiopia's track phenomenon coming from the world cross country races in Kenya where he couldn't win his 6th Seniors title is looking out to revenge his loss. In the pack is the man who beat him one Zerseney Tadesse from Eritrea and a host of Kenyan athletes led by.....Having learnt the hard way about low altitude,high temperatures and humidity the Ethiopian showed why one can't expect him around for the next few years breaking records. Where are the Kenyans who even in their home country couldn't take the seniors individual title ?
Second race Men's 1500m: While we have had a hot & cold for this race in major championships my concern goes to the naturalised athlete one Bernard Lagat who won the race for the USA saying 'it's the happiest day of my life'( what irony! -it hurt seeing him round the lap of honour with the stars & stripes). 3 years ago while he was still Kenyan he won the silver for Kenya after sprinting down the last 50 m with Hisham el Guerrouj of Morocco who kept the rivalry alive but never lost to him both at the World Championships in 2001 & Olympics in 2004.
1. Our athletes have to start preparing for major world championships with enough preparations and also scientific research. Sample this the reason Bekele won his race easily was because having run to exhaustion in Mombasa he decided to delay his flight to Osaka to avoid loss of red blood cells (oxygen carrying blood cells) due to change of altitude.
2. It was a joke using a high altitude zone to prepare for races to held at low altitude,high humidity and temperatures.This leads to exhaustion and quick burn-out which displayed in the earlier races at Osaka especially the marathon and long races.
3.What do we have to do to retain our athletes ? Going by the medals standings Kenya ought to be 2nd now if the naturalised athletes would quickly revert to the country of birth. It has something to do with the selection,maintenance and remuneration of athletes. What the Government has started offering is a good start but is peanuts compared with the true value of the earnings they can earn from appearance fees,endorsements as well as bonuses for winning.
4. AK-the richest sports body in Kenya need change with the times. There are always issues during preparations to major games and the officials often give faint reasons and when the runners don't perform the coaches are axed without proper procedures.They have also held office for too long .Move over guys !

I'll keep my eyes on the prize but I'll not bank my hopes too high from the athletes in Osaka.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

FIFA World rankings -August

With a couple of friendlies lined up as most countries start looking out to qualify for their respective continental trophies, FIFA has released the latest rankings and the top 10 is fairly the same with Brazil perched at the top position. Second to fifth place are also the same with Argentina,Italy, France, and Germany respectively. England slips out into the 12th position while Iraq jumps 16 places onto 64th position following their exploits in the Asian Cup held last month.
The top African country is Cameroon having dropped one position to 16th place,and Nigeria fall at 26th,Cote d'Ivoire coming in 28th on the rankings. From East Africa, Uganda is at 98th position,Tanzania 102, Burundi 113, Rwanda 121 and lastly Kenya at 132-improving 5 places up ( are these guys REALLY sure?) . Do I need to say more ? Does KFF exist by the way ? It's been awile since I heard from those dim-wits. Or they are getting fed before coming back hungry and showing their swollen tummies ?

The top 10 is as follows;
1. (1) Brazil
2. (2) Argentina
3. (3) Italy
4. (4) France
5. (5) Germany
6. (7) Croatia
7. (6) Netherlands
8. (9) Spain
9. (11) Czech Republic
10. (8) Portgual

Kenya team heads for Osaka

The World Athletics Championships start on Saturday and the final batch left the country last evening. I have deliberately left this out of the blog because of a couple of reasons such as; 10 athletes running the marathon while other disciplines have 2 or 3 reps, preparations held in high altitude cold areas while the city of Osaka is low altitude and warm,lack of proper communication and co-ordination by the Athletics Kenya officials,....I'll go on and on !
Let's pray some miracle will happen and we scrap 3 gold medals or even more ! Good stead !

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Motorcross in Kenya- Africa better recognise !

I like it when a sportsman is confident in what he or she believes is victory even when history is so against you. I remember a few days back when the captain of the Kenyan team to the African Motorcross Union held right here at Jamhuri Park ( tracks to be more to the point). He exuded confidence saying that he believes that Kenyan riders would give the continent dust to their faces.
Come Sunday and the riders did just that.
Kenya won 4 of the 6 categories, amassing 450 points beating Zimbabwe 364 and South Africa -364 points. They won in the 50,65,85 senior and open category.
Big thumbs up to the riders, Ivan Guya, David Bernardi, Tutu Maina, Cruze Mungai, Graham Lionnet, Tom Porter and most deservedly Anthony Nielsen.

Sad that the captain hang his bike and decide to let the young lads take over. Man the team is truly endowed for the future. Just do one more honourable thing, make noise and shout to the roof-tops about the sports. SportsKenya officially endorses you as the Goodwill Ambassador for Motorcross in Kenya and Africa too !

SideNote: I do humbly apologise to a 'person of letters'vll who REALLY LOVES Bikes, it slipped my mind .

SOYA 2008

The one event that showcases the best of Kenyan sports is to be held next year with more support from the main sponsors Safaricom. Sportsman Of the Year Awards as they are known will have an purse worth KShs. 5 million (approx US$77000. This will be the fourth edition having started by Paul Tergat-Kenya's frontman in the marathon and cross-country and also Goodwill Ambassador for WFP.
His firm FineTouch Communications together with Keino Sports Marketing have been engaged in drives to put sports especially athletics at its rightful place and reward outstanding performance.
Next year's event will also see another category "community hero". The overall winners take away Kshs.100000 each for the male and female categories.
This is a step headed to the right place since there needs such forums to expose and highlight the best performers and teams.

Monday, 20 August 2007

B-Ball's sell-outs

One Luol Deng , he who plies his trade in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls ( winners with His Airness , Michael Jordan in the 1990s) has decided to play basketball for....wait for this.....England in the 2012 Olympic Games.
According to sources, his decision was after being helped in his earlier days when his father sort asylum in the UK while on transit to the US. True the lad played his first few hoops in the UK for a team called Brixton Topcats, whereupon he won a basketball scholarship which took him to the States and now the NBA.
The decision it is said is part of saying 'Thank you ' to the UK. As he does this, two other top players in the NBA both of African origin await their letters from the Home Office (UK's equivalent of the Immigration Ministry) to become British citizens. Pops Mensah Bonsu of the Dallas Mavericks and Kelenna Azubuike of the Golden State Warriors wait for their passports to go through.

I keep saying if you really want to play basketball or any other sport for that matter...don't choose the easy way out, work for it and earn it ! In any case it will always be noted that you gave up your birth right to play for some opportunistic country which doesn't give a rat's a** about your stay !

Football fever's back !

True to form, my fellow male being are happy and smiling from ear to ear as their weekend programmes are back with all the football menu being served. It gets more interesting as there are enough channels to choose from; DStv,GTV, Nation TV and once in awhile Citizen TV. But I'll give it to GTV for pulling the rag under DStv while bidding for the English Premier League games-taking 80% of the live games(
I fell victim last weekend when the League started as I went to my favourite spot to watch the game which featured my favoured team. Shock on me as I waited for a whole 45 mins only to realise that DStv which the management has been using to promote its location not screen the game.
Nonetheless, GTV's arrangement to hook up pubs and other entertainment spots together with EABL is bound to bear fruits sooner rather than later. It's all good back here.
Meanwhile, I have been taking a look at the top teams in Europe and am not very sure whether some will hold that position at the end of the season, but then again what do I know ?
1. Manchester United- with the win of the English Premiership in 2006-7, growing fan base in Asia the team had revenues in excess of $310 million (or €243 million OR £168 million).It's valued at $1.453 billion (€1.137 billion OR £786 million) Major buys have sought to cement the team's position in the League and European Champs League.
My thoughts: They may not take the English League as they have foundered on their first 3 games but underestimate them at your own peril. They will challenge for Europe though with most of their players having a wealth of experience there.
2.Real Madrid- Europe's most successful club. Revenues are in excess of $374 million (€292 million / £202 million)-a whole 64 $$ million more than Man United, but they have struggles in the last 3 years only salvaging the Spanish La Liga after Barcelona's floppy finish. The team has sold most of its players and sought to have a youthful team as they look to regain the League and challenge in Europe. They also got a new coach in the summer break.
My thoughts: No offence but they will not regain the League and the European Champions league will be harder since most of their players are new to this experience.The team is valued at $1.036 billion (€811 million / £560 million)
3. Arsenal - Surprise , surprise !They who play the most enjoyable game in England, they who are always having soft touches but can't make the tie in crunch-time games. They have had a difficult 2 seasons finishing top 4 but having made it to the European Champions League final in 2005-6 campaign. The team's revenue estimate at $246 million (€192 million OR £133 million)with income at $20 million(€16 million / £11 million). The new Emirates stadium and a loyal fan base will help bolster their position in the English League but this will not be easy. They sold their talismanic player and they don't have 'battle-hardened players'. But trust the Professor as some call A. Wenger to pull a few rabbits up his sleeve. It's valued at $915 million (€716 million / £495 million).
Other teams rank as follows;

4. Bayern Munich :-Revenues: $262 m and its valued at $838 m
5. AC Milan :- Revenues: $305 m and the team valued at $824 m
6. Juventus :-Revenues $321 m and the team is valued at $567 m
7. Internazionale Milan :-Revenues $264 m team value is $555 m
8. Chelsea:- Revenue $283 m while the team is valued at $537 m
9. Barcelona :-Revenue $331 m with the team value at $535 m
10.Schalke 04:- Revenues at $157 m with the team valued at $471 m

Well as you go out there to cheer your team, know that you are making an extra dime for them through your viewer-ship, purchase of whatever drink or snack ( even if it's in the comfort of your home !).

Been around ...been around ...the world ....

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Return of the Clutch shooter

Return of the Man ! Reggie Miller former Indiana Pacers clutch shot specialist is being lured to make a comeback onto the NBA with the Boston Celtics. The team is positioning itself as it seeks a return to glory last felt 17 years ago during the era of one of NBA's legends and coincidentally a former coach to Miller, Larry Bird.
I must say this was one of my favourite players and had a memorable career though without the coveted NBA play-offs championship ring. Overcoming a history of leg deformities (it shows from his spindly legs)he turned out to be one of NBA's most lethal player outside the D,3-point play area. He is also remembered as one few players to have played for one team in the whole of their careers...well until now if it goes through !
He holds the NBA record for career three-pointers made i.e 2,560. He also had his jersey # 31 retired for the Indiana Pacers. He is currently working as an NBA commentator for TNT. We may also remember his sibling one Cheryl Miller-US women basketball great-one of the few woman to ever dunk !
The Celtics have also acquired Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen as they opt to work towards championship basketball. They will team up with Paul Pierce a more seasoned Celtic player.
One of my most memorable games is in 1998, where the Pacers trailed the Chicago Bulls 2-1 in the Eastern Conference series and were behind 94-93 in Game 4 with less than three seconds remaining.

Miller fought free of defender Michael Jordan, caught an inbounds pass, turned and made a game-winning 3-point shot. The Pacers eventually pushed the series to a decisive 7th game in Chicago, a game in which the Pacers led early before loosing steam. The Bulls took the series and went on to win their 6th and final championship with Jordan.
I don't know how many times I rewound a VCR tape of this game just to watch that play again. Too bad I lost the tape thanks to 'non-returning' lent buddies
I also remember a line from famed film director and New York Knicks fanatic Spike Lee, “When he’s old and in a wheelchair, they’re going to roll him out onto the [Madison Square] Garden court and he’s still going to hit threes."

Sporting Culture

Coming from one of Kenya's maverick Ministers, I surely hope he puts his money where his mouth is. Information & Communication Minister-Mutahi Kagwe stated that the Kenyan government is soon developing a policy to make sports a cultural social responsibility. He was of the view that Kenya's place in the world has been hampered by failure to make sports professional. This has even made some of our budding talent to switch citizenship....preach , Preacher !
One of the cornerstones of Vision 2030 will be for sports to be taken up as a source of livelihood if well managed and developed. It will also serve as positive publicity to the country.....

Nuff said !

Stanchart Nairobi Marathon - bright future

The Stanchart Kenya office has thrown in more support and says it will continue supporting the capital city's premier marathon. A financial kitty of KShs.350 million (approx US$5.03 million) for the next 5 years is what will prove whether the event will survive to become one of top marathons in Africa and the world too.It is part of the Standard Chartered sponsored 'Greatest Race(s) on Earth together with 3 other marathons held in India, Singapore and Hong Kong.
This year's edition will have the theme is
We have a vision - seeing is believing
and will be held on the 28th of October featuring the traditional five races, full marathon, half marathon, 10km road race, wheel chair race and the 5km family fun run race.
Well the 5th edition is around the corner ! Marathoners touch your feet, warm your legs and prepare for the track....I'm still contemplating which race to go for the 10km road-race or half-marathon(21km). Any suggestions ?

First 100

While it may seem short, I celebrate my 100th post today and hope all you bloggers will keep me in check as I throw the spotlight on sports and more SPORTS ! Throw those comments and critique where necessary ( like when I don't make sense OR same something stupid)....

"A pop of the bottle, a cling of the glass, we toss to the future and we drink to the might not be easy but nevertheless these are the BEST DAYS OF OUR LIVES !"

Record break--------Baseball type

One hell of player swung his bat ....and the next thing you know records come tumbling down !
OK for the uninitiated, this is in on of America's most loved sport BASEBALL. In one of its best moments of the game, a player hits the ball with his bat, and the next thing you see the guy drop his bat and run around like some possessed animal round some spots(called BASES) and hopes to complete the circuit before any of the opposing team's players receive the ball back to the fold.
That's just a sneak to the heart of the matter. A player by the name of Barry Bonds playing for his team San Francisco Giants hit his 756th home run and broke one of baseball's most treasured records from Hank Aaron-a baseball legend in the US-at 755 home runs.

The brother didn't stop there as last night he added another hit and is slowly inching away from the previous record. The issue though is still in contention after alleged drug use which still hangs over Bonds like a smelly shirt. All I'll say here is keep hitting 'em bro !
Also related to this, the fan who caught the ball one 21 year old Matt Murphy has been informed by the IRS-Internal Revenue Service ( US version of KRA-Kenya Revenue Authority )that he might have to pay taxes on souvenir ball he caught rate of about 35 percent, or about $210,000 on a $600,000 ball.....gimme a break here....can't a guy enjoy his catch and the joys the come with the few moments of this rate the taxman will be asking for taxes on every other thing..., the view time, appearance and even air ( both the fresh and the flatulence within )...find a career elsewhere and give the sports arena a break !

Elgon Cup tie

As the rugby season is set for a close, the Elgon Cup is also touching down in the city this weekend for all you rugby fans. The Cup is a 2-leg match up of Kenya vs Uganda's 15-a-sides. The first leg was played in Kampala on May 26 and Kenya lost 10-26.
The Ugandans who have been making good progress especially with the 15-a-side team will look to upset Kenya at their home turf-RFUEA grounds. But the Kenyan coach Michael 'Tank'Otieno said that with some recalls of the players involved in the 7s teams , Kenya will be hoping to hold its own against them.
The full squad is named below:
Horace Otieno, Lavin Asego, Collins Injera, Sydney Nderitu, Humphrey Khayange, (Mwamba), Innocent Simiyu, Joel Ng’ang’a, Leslie Libasia, Daniel Kiptoo, Victor Sudi, Lewis Olaka, Vincent Ong’era (Quins), Moses Kola, Nato Simiyu (Impala), Wilson K’Opondo (Mean Machine), Peter Mutai, Paul Murunga, Edwin Alubaka, Derrick Wamalwa, Arnold Odera, Anthony Ogot (KCB) and Mike Aung (Nondies).
The fixture is sponsored by sponsored by East African Breweries under the flagship brands of Guinness in Uganda and Tusker in Kenya.It is named Elgon after the Mt.Elgon which lays on the border of the two countries. Some say it is the version of the Bledisloe cup played between the New Zealand All Blacks and Australian Wallabies.
Uganda are the previous holders having won it last at an aggregate score of 29-27. I have been listening to one of Nairobi's FM stations hype the event using the movie "300" parts and am bemused by the lack of (or is it really) originality by the creative department of the said station ! All the same, it's going down and you better be there !

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

GTV ups the stakes in sports industry

The latest entrant in pay TV in the region has been causing quite a stir and to make things even more interesting , they have sort more involvement in sports in the East and Central African region for starters.
Over the weekend, the founder Mr. Julian McIntyre said that they will hope to take at least 18 months to break even in their operations. They are to invest KShs. 140 million in developing local content material in 2 main sports discipline, football and athletics. He said this when he signed a 5-year deal with the Ugandan football federation FUFA worth approx. KShs. 332 million (US$ 5.03 million) for the coverage of all Uganda national team's games, Super League (which has 18 teams ) and the Kakungulu Cup-Uganda's version of the FA Cup.
In the arrangement, all teams in the League will be entitled to approx. KShs.1 million and the winners will take an extra Kshs.720000.
It's commendable also since the company is seeking other partners for the 2 disciplines. It is also positive to note that they are trying to focus on not just overseas broadcasts and leagues but also developing local ones and having local crowds appreciate their own.
My issue is with KFF-Kenya Football Federation...where art thou my brethren ?
To add more curry into the market, they are launching a partnership with East African Breweries Limited, where they will offer affordable and attractive packages to the 13000 odd bars registered, which offer mainly sports coverage with English Premiership football topping the bill. Social halls are also targeted in this campaign. The Commercial Director-Mr Rhys Torrington- though not in detail said they will unveil this in the next 2 weeks.
These businesses would subscribe for at least $50 per month. To avoid subscribers using the bar package at home, Mr Torrington said, the hospitality package would display a beer bottle on the screen. Bars and hotels that show major football matches are often able to not only lure more clients but can charge a premium on their offerings because of it.
He added that in the longer term they will hope to attract more middle income level earners thus the competitive pricing and programming.It wants, he said, to double the number of pay-TV subscribers in Kenya by December—with a regional target of 60,000 subscribers for the first three east African markets. Mr Torrington said that Kenyan consumers, who have higher buying power would make up the bulk of this number.
There you are , don't say you never heard this....what interesting times ahead for Pay TV in the region and Africa at large !

Monday, 6 August 2007

Weekend Wrap

Pres. Kibaki hands over a cheque to gold medallist swimmer Jason Dunford.

Well,well....if I could be like 6 times my body and throw myself all over then I would get some of these many tasks done. In the last few days I have been trying to get so many things done and visit so many places, see enough people but alas ! There is ONLY ONE dude here !
The weekend had some interesting picks for me and I could say I missed a couple as I attended to a few pressing issues which spilled over into the weekend;
All-Africa Games:
The Kenyan team was rewarded for the performance (which I reviewed here....). The toast of the day as usual was Jason Dunford as he was rewarded his booty of KShs.1.6 million (approx.US$25000)which the Dunford family declared will be committed to a foundation to help upcoming swimmers and help sensitise Kenyans about the sport and develop it. The World Youth Athletics team and hockey teams were also present in what can be described as the biggest lump-sum amount that the Kenyan Government has ever given out as reward to its sports people. A total of KShs. 11.9 million was given on that day by the President.
It's a positive move by the Government as it moves to buttress and help grow sports disciplines in Kenya. The Minister charged with sport also mentioned the tabling of a Bill concerning sports in the coming days. A friend of mine says it has been lying in the Attorney-General's chambers for more than 3 years now. I'll try get a sneak preview and post some comments on this blog. Methinks they should get more serious with sports than giving it tokens of appreciation.
I was also concerned given that I visited the Nyayo National Stadium Basketball Gymnasium and the game is surely at its lowest can you have less than 500 fans in the same grounds that other sportsmen are being bestowed for their performance ? I was even more appalled to see some top officials stroll in ,in the official dress for the All-Africa Games and walk around with no worries as the game registers lower and lower crowds !


Man U goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar saves Frank Lampard's kick.

The curtain-raiser of the English Premier League-the Community Shield was played with last season's winner of the Premier League-Manchester United and winner of the FA Cup -Chelsea opened what promises to be a really RICH league for the top 18 teams( details coming later concerning the new TV rights and lucrative deals signed between the clubs and the English League). It was one game that was destined to go down the wire, with Man U winning 4-1(3-0 on penalties after extra-time)at English's beloved Wembley Stadium. Both teams were cautious and they seemed to be seizing each other at any opportunity. I'll not say that this game decides anything but I feel Man U WILL NOT take this year's League title...

The World Rally Championship knocked its doors in Finland and the home-boy Marcus Gronholm made his triumph winning what seems to be adding up to be his for the taking. He has won here severally and they just don't seem to have what it takes to stop him.

The overall standings now are at:
1. M. Gronholm (FIN) 75 Pts
2. S. Loeb (FIN) 62 Pts
3. M. Hirvonen (FIN) 57 Pts
4. D. Sordo (EST) 28 Pts
5. H. Solberg (NRWY) 28 Pts

Formula 1:

Hamilton takes the chequered flag in Hungaring-Hungary.

The kid is back ! Hey Ferrari pretenders they say it ain't over till the fat lady sings....I'll paraphrase that to ..."it ain't over till the whiz-kid spins"! Sorry for having bias here but Lewis Hamilton will be a major factor to this season's F1 placings. That's without doubt now as he took the Hungarian Grand Prix, causing even his team-mate Fernando Alonso to start 'cold-wars'. This was caused by a penalty Alonso incurred on Saturday as they went through the qualifying round.
The driver's standings are as follows;
1. Lewis Hamilton 80 points,
2. Fernando Alonso 73
3. Kimi Räikkönen 60
4. Felipe Massa 59
5. Nick Heidfeld 42

I feel pained while trying to report this game. It has the potential of pulling crowds and the entertainment enormous if only the officials woke up from their slumber ! What do you make of a game having 4 quarters and the final score is 62-42 while it's a men's game ? OK the standards, I will not even go there...some of us just go there more like a religious practice more than anything else...
The top teams have some weird looking outfits and the games are usually one-sided and you find them playing what in college we called 'KAENDE'-happy-go-lucky with no serious plays and formats to interest any basketball enthusiasts. I found a few guys trying to make colourless dunks & I almost screamt to high heaven to be saved from the agony. At this rate, I might find myself going there ONLY during the play-offs where they can afford to entice more crowds and have varied entertainment. Please SPORTSKENYA bloggers I make a passionate appeal to help save this game comments/ways and suggestions to chart a way out.

The Indian 'A' team is visiting Kenya playing the national team.They have made good meal of the Kenyans,restricting them to 98 runs on the first day of their 3-day game. Action is at the Mombasa Sports Club, it's hoped Kenya will put a worthy fight as they struggle to maintain their status as the best Non-Test playing nation.

One Tyson Gay won his speciality the 100m race by racing to a 10.02 sec .
He seems to be sending warning signals to Asafa Powell as athletes start positioning themselves for the World Athletics Championships in Osaka before the end of August.

In the Kenya Cup , KCB seems to have taken the title needing only one point from the remaining game with Mean Machine on August 12th. They beat Impala 16-9 on Saturday to ensure a touch on the title. They have shown why they are a force to be reckoned with in Kenyan rugby.
Also a by-the-way, the Elgon Cup comes to Nairobi where Uganda faces up to Kenya with Kenya having won the first game in Kampala last month. The game will be played on August 11th at the RFUEA grounds. Keep it here for developing stories on this !

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Photos do the talking

Today I divert to a few other things I have indugle in, check these out ....

Chinese President does his thing on table tennis with a young player in Hong Kong.

10000 youths in a camp where among other things they indulge in is sports ( or is it release of pent-up anger ?)

Extreme sports