Monday, 21 April 2008
Maseno vs Laiser Hill in the Final of the Basketball -Boys.
Photo Courtesy of East African Standard's Oscar Pilipili.
With the weekend action being overshadowed by Secondary School Ball Games and Cross-Country, I must say something good's in the air.
Even though I never got to attend any of the games ( thanks to my full-time job and strict weekend plans), I felt every bit it was worth the money for those who made their time there.
Unlike most sports games in Kenya, these are usually fiercely contested and amount of talent in adundance. This is evidenced in such games as basketball and rugby as well as hockey which used to be a mainstay sport back in the 1970s and 80s in Kenya. Look at the Boys' Final between Maseno and Laiser Hill, the game even went into overtime with Laiser Hill winning it by a basket (72-70).
It was for this reason, the Kenya Basketball Federation decided to use it as a recruiting ground for the under 17 national basketball team. I was excited to hear even the 7s national coach Ben Ayimba made his forays into the rugby grounds to watch the Western Kenya teams make mince meat of other provinces teams,with Kakamega High emerging eventual winners. I'm sure the boys must have heard of his presence and even went ahead and did their own victory 'Western Kenya-haka dance'!
What I found more interesting was the presence of major corporates in the shape of Brookside, Wrigleys (through its flagship product-Orbit), both which branded jerseys and vests of players in most disciplines. They also had their own stands selling the products to these young firebrands.
I guess with a little bit of enticement and also sterling results, most of the Kenyan corporates can start coming out of the woodwork. The national officials also deserve a pat on the back for making a buzz of the Games hence ensuring media coverage of these.
It is also important that these officials manage the Games efficiently and transparently as they could easily be roll-outs for our future stars.