Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Kenyan Sport can do better

Reading from 2008's script, Kenyan sport has blossomed and we can go to the next level. I'll not bore you with the highlights and I can't also start admonishing the different down moments Kenyan sports scene had.
The Standard's Sports Editor, Omulo Okoth put it well on the 27th of Dec ( here), stakeholders need start putting the right structures in place and legislation is one way to get started with this.
I like using the Kenyan football scene which has never seen order for years now- I was reading through my archives and recovered an article which sought to note how the then Football Association of Kenya initiated by then KBL huncho Ken.S.N Matiba absorbed debt to the tune of £2300 starting the Kenyan National Football League in 1973. Circa 2008, we don't know who's running Kenyan football between Football Kenya Limited and KFF !
I'll be at forefront to get our legislators (and what a lot we've got to work with) to work on the necessary legislation. I'd also hope to work with like minds to seek the necessary ways we can transform Kenyan sports.
As a famous person said( paraphrased to suit us)...ask not what you can do for sports but what can you do for sports !

Brand Kenya Awards

2009 is sure looking to start well for the sporting scene in Kenya. We already have the Kenyan team in Kampala playing the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup and boy we better win this one.
The second week of January, the Marketing Society of Kenya supported initiative Brand Kenya will be rewarding Kenyans who have been exemplary to the Kenyan cause. I am sure Kenyan sports personalities will definitely feature in the line-up. I do hope they will not be a sham like has been with such initiatives.
I also hope they can encompass not just recent 'heroes' but some unsung ones from back in the day. They can contact me for some of the sporting ones for that matter...OK enough with that...
Let's meet at KICC on 17th January 2009 for what ought to be true Kenyan experience !
The Brand Kenya board has gotten some KShs. 2 billion to use to market Kenya. I'm hoping this initiative takes shape now since it's been rather a non-starter on most billings. It would be an informed decision not to just sit and draw up fancy papers. This should an opportune time since Kenya has become a regular headliner in international circles for both the right & wrong reasons. One Nesbitt tells us there is a village in the UK which has over 1.5 million visitors while we applaud when we cross the 1 million mark as a country.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Holidays and the New Year

This is for all you've been faithful readers of this blog. Thank you ! Do hope the holiday season's well with you and we'll be back blogging next year. There could be one or more articles before then but until then,happy holidays and be right here for 2009 !

Golf City in Kenya

An ambitious plan has been doing the rounds in Nairobi about the development of Golf City right next to the CBD. While it looks good on paper, the whole project reeks of a raw deal considering the parties involved.
For starters, it is known that the Kenya Railways Corporation which invited the bids is in dire straits having lost much of its business to trailer load and trucks which transport the cargo which is their core business. The corporation concessioned part of its business to Rift Valley Railways which is also not doing thus far.
Secondly, KRC is one of the largest land owners in the country and has had to fight with both politicians and greedy individuals who are always on the hunt of their idle development land. A close look at the proposed site of the Golf City attests to this.
For what is prime land between the Jomo Kenyatta Airport to the CBD, it's anyone's guess what they will be on the look-out for.
I will not belabour the point for now, but I believe there are other sports which would be more deserving than golf for now and also the fact that the intended project doesn't even seem to have a target audience.
Considering the development of a similar project at the Coast which in my thinking would be a more viable option, I will not voice my support for this.
More details.

SOYA Awaits

Next year's Sportsman Of the Year Awards (SOYA) will be staged early next year, this time hoping no interruptions disrupt the proceedings. Set for January 23rd, the 2008 awards will be awash with the best of 2008 which was by many sports enthusiasts, one of the best seasons for Kenyan sport.
Not just for the traditional athletics, but also rugby, swimming and football. The different interested parties in the sporting arena also raised their tempo with major corporates adding more beef to the stew. The Government's support has been there for all to see but this can be improved and spread to non-traditional sports.
Next year will be another season that Kenyan sports practitioners will need to raise their game as the 2010 World Cup approaches. Kenya will also host a major athletic meet in the early months of 2010 thus the need for proper investment towards the same.
Foundations will be set for 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2012 Olympics.
The SOYA present a momentous occasion when we celebrate Kenyan sports and sports personalities. This time, the guest of honour is expected to be the Maputo Express -Mozambiquan Maria Mutola- former 800m world and African champion and also the first lady to be given such an honour to grace the occasion. Much work done by FineTouch Communications-Paul Tergat's brainchild and Safaricom which has continued to support the awards for the last 5 years.
This year's panellists include sports journalists led by James Wokabi-98.4 Capital FM sports editor and Adam magazine contributor, Finny Muyeshi of The Athlete magazine, Torome Tirike-Royal Media & Citizen sports editor to name but a few.
For more details, check here and vote here.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Professional Boxing in Kenya : Field day for quacks

This weekend, Kenyans will hope to be treated to another round of what we may call professional boxing in Kenya. We will host a number of key bouts with the most anticipated being Kenya's Fatima Zarika vs Puerto Rican US-based Belinda ‘Brown Sugar’ Laracuente and the other,Raymond Ochieng vs Douglas Chilembe of Zambia. These fights are being promoted by Caleb Kuya of Osaga Promotions. All good thus far.

Far left, Belinda Laracuente who's to face Fatima Zarika 2nd from the right. Photo courtesy of Nation Media Group's Dennis Okeyo

The worrying thing is that most of the recent professional fights have been total mismatches and a couple of boxers have faced serious injuries and even survived brain damage.
I don't like using this reference but Kenya's most succesful boxer thus far who decided to get into professional circles, the late Robert Wangila Napunyi suffered similar characteristics when he was forced to go into a fight without a prerequisite medical check-up and paid a heavy price for the same.
The promoters have also voiced the same concern saying there are a number of quacks in the game who's only wish is to make money from the fights.
With the sport likely to suffer serious credibility issues, the promoters better put their houses in order. The sponsors have shied away from the weekend's matches and it's not out of malice but who would want to be associated with such 'bloodthirsty' promoters.
It's said the Kenya Professional Boxing Commission KPBC-has sanctioned the fights. I surely do hope the fighters live to see another day.
Title Fights:
Fatuma Zarika (Kenya) v Belinda Laracuente(USA)-GBU, WIBF featherweight title (10 rounds).
Nasser Athumani (Kenya) v Kompa Koroma (USA)-GBU lightweight title;
Raymond Ochieng (Kenya) v Douglas Chilembe (Zambia)- GBU Cruiserweight title;
Judy Waguthi (Kenya) v Hellen Joep (Nigeria)-GBU featherweight title;
Morris Chule (Kenya) v Daniel Tetteh (Ghana)-GBU Continental title.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Athletics: Are all these road races necessary?

Over the weekend, AK’s chair one Mr. Isaiah Kiplagat said that they would find ways of limiting the races Kenyan athletes run especially the younger ones to avoid burn-out. I couldn’t agree more on this.
We seem to have become with road-races in the last 2 years and this year given the success of our athletes in the Beijing Olympics, there are at least 3-4 road races every weekend. That’s a bit on the over-drive given the bodies of our athletes take beatings from serious sessions of training. This has led to short-lived careers of our athletes especially in the longer distances.
A causal look at the last 10 years shows you why we only have the likes of Paul Tergat and Catherine Ndereba remaining for such races. This is because they have learnt the art of choosing which the best races are for them and limiting their appearances to the same events. Even they admit, at times to have over-booked their schedules. Our younger athletes need take such lessons too and AK can guide this process to avoid burn-out and exploitation by the agents and greedy managers.

Kenya’s rise in FIFA rankings

Achieving the highest ever rankings as we close in on the World Cup 2010, Kenya’s national football team couldn’t ask for a better source of motivation. With the ever-circling ‘vultures’ of Kenyan football officials, this is quite an inspiration to local footballers who hope to one day see more than their fair share of footballers in the monied European leagues.
Currently at 68th place in the world, 14th in Africa and being the second best highest-rising nation in the rankings is bound to justify its place in the TV screenings and the corporate firms which have all so often been on and off in their support.
As a sporting nation, we can do all we can to support the team as it prepares for the immediate task of CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup and also the 2nd phase of WC cum Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later next year. Let’s not be held down by selfish interests and narrow minded officials who see no further than their stomachs, and if we can let’s hold out the RED CARD for them, NO MORE NONSENSE !
Top 10 rankings are as follows;
1. Spain
2. Germany
3. Netherlands
4. Italy
5. Brazil
6. Argentina
7. Croatia
8. England
9. Russia
10. Turkey
For more info, check this and this.

Basketball: Gone with the wind

I will not comment on the play-offs having not had a chance attending any of the games, though I must congratulate the KCB Lions for a comeback and win over arch-rivals Co-op Bank. It seems nothing’s working for CO-op Bank right now given its low-key IPO which was 81% subscribed….but then again this is not about Co-op Bank.
Pres-elect Obama goes for a fast-break.

Earlier this year, I had a chance to interact with a former basketball enthusiast who had sought to promote the game in the 1990s but was frustrated by the KBF officials and loss of corporate support. He emphasized the need for Kenyan basketball teams to detach themselves from companies which sponsor them as ways of so-called corporate social responsibility or merely recreation activities.
At first it had not hit home, but now it makes a lot of sense. Kenyan basketball needs a renaissance similar to what is happening to the Kenyan football scene.
Various communities need to start developing outfits which can be moulded into professional teams with independent management teams and dedicated fan base, say from their locality maybe from a certain part of the Nairobi city or province(s). That way, the team will seek to recruit the best and also set up a communal stage where those who can achieve are recruited into the teams.
The KBF would then divide the different teams into leagues which can then work under the Nairobi Basketball League onto the National League.
These teams can use their local links to recruit say even from universities and/or colleges which are also in the process of setting up a league to compete within themselves. They can develop links with African professional clubs and various European leagues and American colleges which then send their players to the ultimate National Basketball Association in the US.
These are maybe just dreams which swirled through my mind as I saw KCB beat Co-op on the telly and may have just gone with the wind!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Kenyan Football: Are we out of the woods yet ?

Over the weekend, Kenyan football witnessed some interesting times. (Yes I'm back at you KFF !)
One of the country's oldest rivalries was renewed when AFC Leopards met Gor Mahia for the Jamhuri Cup- what I call Kenya's 'el classico'! Interestingly, the former who have been languishing in the lower rungs of the football scene gave Gor a run for their money. But as history is bound to repeat itself, there were contentious decisions made which ended up ruining the rest of the game and the teams shared the spoils (and the trophy too).
Fans shouted down the match officials and even ran into the main stadium causing confusion to the whole affair. Disgraceful to say the least !
It's about time clubs learnt to control their fans while they play other teams moreso their arch-rivals. Results don't always go your way and you can't win them all. As SuperSports continues dedicating time and money to the KPL, they must also reciprocate by putting their house in order.
(Check out SuperSports' Head of Africa Mr. Gary Rathbone's interview with EA Standard here)
By the way, can they explore ways of punishing clubs with errant fans (though few clubs have home grounds,maybe closed-door games would be more effective)

Still on Kenyan football, the KFF decided to settle on Francis Kimanzi as Harambee Stars manager albeit quietly. Why did they take so long deciding the obvious ? And do we expect a good performance after only 2 weeks camp and no international friendlies ? We try push our luck at times too much !

Kenyan Football wins FIFA project opportunity

It's not often Kenyan football has been positively identified with this blog. From our media sources, its been reported that Kenya will benefit from a FIFA project looking to build sports centres' of excellence as a way of giving back to the community pre and post-2010 World Cup.
MYSA-Mathare Youth Sports Association is the beneficiary of this initiative expected to start next year. The project's dubbed " 20 Centres for 2010". Read more here.

Media Ruckus

Its not often that we write about the current happenings outside the sports scene but this issue pricked us and thoughts came pouring.
Last week Kenya marked 45 years as an 'independent' nation and on the same day, our mainstream media practitioners kept us 'informed' why the President should not assent the Information and Communications Bill (NOT the MEDIA Bill as they are telling us).
It's true our parliamentarians are not the most admirable guys and have not proved to be any better than previous lot. But when you start personalising some of the issues at hand, it shows the need for the media to be monitored and need be, regulated.
Late last year before the Elections, we all witnessed professionalism thrown out the window and most mainstream media clearly took sides and tried to outdo each other in the respective campaigns. FM stations even had hate campaigns drawing close semblance to the Rwanda situation.Come post-election and again we spiralled out of control.
It has not changed much in most of the published media, where by the headline alone one can tell the editorial policy's leanings of the paper. You and me even shun some of these papers because you know unless they are throwing vitriol on one or the other politician/businessman/prominent personality, they are busy cooking up schemes and rumours which might not even see the light of day.
I don't know the Communications Minister S. Poghisio personally nor his PS Mr. Bitange Ndemo but in my view they are some of the more distinguished people working in the Ministry.
Back to the media and its love-hate relationship with the politicos, its a known fact that some of the editors and journalists are in the payroll of the same politicians they are now trying to demonise. They put a good word for their respective 'bosses' and cover them extensively even when a hen lays eggs in the coop at their farms. We also know how some of the radio stations have lost all sense of decorum and decided to air some prohibitive language, topics and music too. Some of us cringe when we board public means of transport and blaring out of the vehicle's speakers are the stations' presenters talking about this or that infidelity scandal or promiscuity in the family.
For ours to be a vibrant and independent industry, the media has to acknowledge yes they need certain limits and regulations and don't bluff us that you will self-regulate through the Media Council. It's almost the same way we are telling our MPs to stop being in charge of their pay packages. We know all too well that is impossible. (Remember the same Media Council was to act on its members who violated the code of conduct during the Elections - your silence's rather loud on this one).
And true maybe some of the measures maybe punitive but that's better than paying the price of over 1000 lives of innocent beings.
And to the population, not everything you see, read or hear is true. Some of these are in existence for commercial purposes. SO objectivity and accuracy maybe lost every so often. Better learn to get your facts right and read widely too.


Next time you plan a protest, I think a boycott and black-out will make more impact. Let's not humour ourselves against Government machinery.
More insight on the ICT Bill and media responses ,read this.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

AFC Leopards Revival

Watching last night on the local TV networks, I almost thought I was watching something out of Europe or other parts of Africa. For a league that has known so much mediocrity, the AFC officials have taken a fresh approach and should be commended for the same.
A friend of mine who has been doing consultancy work for their blueprint had been intimating this information to me and I thought it was just a pipe dream. Mr ole Magelo has made his intention known and kudos for that. One Mr. Richard M-Marketing Manager has his work cut out and now knows they have quite a task for the coming season.
We also hope they are vindicated for their controversial re-entry into the KPL Premier League. And also don't try to set up high expectations since some of the plans seem too unrealistic for now....partnership with Liverpool, that would be stretching our imagination....
All the same, you've got your bed, make it ! For all your local football lovers, they will be playing their arch-rivals Gor Mahia for the Jamhuri Cup as we have a precursor to Kenya's El Classico.
Check out more information on afcleopards.

Marketers Night Out : 11th December 2008 at Laico Regency Hotel

2010 World Cup: Progress Scorecard

Thanks to our brothers CNBC –South Africa for this report. In a weekly televised program on Sunday (with a repeat on Tuesday evening), the football and business community in south Africa are already checking the progress of the World Cup to be held in the country in 2010. Last night’s repeat had some interesting yardsticks they are using to know if they are on the right track on not; these include;

i) Brand awareness- the organizers set up shop in 2 last major sports events the most recent being the Beijing Olympics. Though they had the stand, they may have not exploited it to the full in creating awareness about the brand 2010 WC South Africa, according to Dr. Nicklaus Eberi.
ii) Winning team- South Africa had tottered in their build-up matches for the event but in the last 4 outings has managed to win. This gives the locals confidence of seeing their team through to the knock-out stages and could bode well since history favours host countries.
iii) Fan representation- this compares the local versus international fans, with this being touted as fearlessly competitive race for the 3.1 million tickets available. Given the African weather and unexploited natural resources, the SA WC might see a sell-out way before the 2010 deadline. Quota systems may apply but the black market will most likely be active as ever.
iv) Gender equality- fans coming to watch the games- women accounted for more than 40% of the fan base for the 2006 Germany WC and this time the number is expected to rise though marginally. How this is divided among the African states will be an interesting phenomenon
v) Visitors’ safety –this is the prick in the butt for the organizers with the situation far from being resolved. Given the fragility of the neighbouring state of Zimbabwe and high incidence of violent crime in South Africa, security forces both public and private have quite a task to ensure this is sorted by next year.
vi) Media centricity- this involves coverage of the run-up and related events such as the Confederations Cup, training sessions, friendlies and general state of the economy. FIFA has even hired 4 independent journalists to ensure non-biased coverage thus far and ensure not just the negative news gets out but also the positive developments taking place.
vii) Sponsorship money- According to findings, most sponsors will have value for their money with the sponsorship deals expected to be the highest ever. Given FIFA’s shrewd marketing team and the South African’s well-organised marketing team, sponsors are expected to reap huge rewards for supporting the event
viii) Catalyst to national unity- compared to the Rugby World Cup held in 1995, the World Cup represents a more diverse audience and team representation isn’t as skewed. But there are the underlying factors such as the 2009 General Elections expected to be fierce unlike previous years.
ix) Economic legacy- this compares the state of the economy before, during and after the event to measure the benefits reaped from hosting it. In Germany’s case, the tourists’ numbers improved by over 30% and the economy continues to enjoy a feel-good factor to this day among its peers in Europe. The same can be said of countries which hosted the Euro 2008-Switerland and Austria.

For the rest of Africa, we should be more than supportive to this cause since this will represent the potential of hosting other major events and this will be the reference point-success is the only choice in this case.
Check out CNBC on your TV (channel 49) or for those with satellite TV on DSTv-Sundays afternoon 2.30 p.m and Tuesday 8.30 p.m in the evening.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

What would be the Top 10 Perfectly Timed Sports Pictures

Coming from a fellow blogger, I thought this might be interesting to share with you and some you may have seen. Enjoy

Kenyan athlete dies in Brazil

Tradedy strikes when least expected and this time it has struck a fairly unknown entity robbing Kenyan of potential talent.
One Barnabas Kipkoech died on November 30 in Goiania, the capital of the Brazilian State of Goias while competing at a half-marathon. The gentleman seems to have had breathing problems which had been detected a week before but no medical tests were conducted and his manager went ahead to convince him to run.
This is tragic and calls for extra vigilance while competing locally or abroad. There should also be ways of vetting athletes before they compete in international circles, not everyone can run out there.
More details here.

Kenya Football:KCB supports Ligi Ndogo

For a long time I'm writing one something positive on Kenyan football. Kenya Commercial Bank has shown intention of supporting youth football in Kenya by sponsoring the Ligi Ndogo. This is a league modelled for youth aged between 6-16 years who play over the weekends at common grounds in Nairobi-usually the Ligi Ndogo grounds on Ngong Road.
Over the years, most parents have found it worthwhile sending their football crazy kids there as well as serve up a place to hone their skills. Against this backdrop a number of corporate firms have shown interest and last year there was some support from Coca-Cola.
With these firms showing an interest as many others will probably do in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup, Kenya football officials are busy digging deeper into their mess.
What federation signs a club coach (who performs beyond expectation with minimal resources) and fail to renew or upgrade his contract ?
As I write, we don't even have a team coach , why ?
With a major tournament in sight, the national team is yet to set camp for residential training. Are we that confident or do the officials know something we don't ?
Have we known who will run Kenyan football, Football Kenya or KFF or any of what Kenyan officials make us believe is the federation running Kenyan football ?
I'll stop at that before I get worked up .....

Monday, 8 December 2008

Co-op Bank draw first blood in KBF Basketball Play-offs

Coming after a brief break (occassioned by the African Women Club championships), Co-op Bank of Kenya men's team went one up against Kenya Commercial Bank Lions. The games have seen quite a decline in national and local attention, losing out big even on club sponsorship.
Hosting the club championships didn't improve the numbers much and that ought to be a cause for concern for the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF)officials.
The second of the best of 3 games will be played this weekend and though the games ought to serve up some nice match-ups , I'm hugely disappointed by the lack of promotion for the games.
There ought to be some serious soul-searching for the officials in the off-season as this game is slowly going into obscurity.
Mr Otula over to you !

Golden Boy no more

Oscar de la Hoya otherwise known in boxing circles as Golden Boy suffered another humiliating defeat as he was outboxed, outfoxed and almost outweighed by the Philippine Manny Pacquiao.

Image courtesy of BBC

When do some of these boxers learn their time and reigns are over ?
Another boxer in the shape of Evander Holyfield is trying to become the oldest heavyweight boxer title holder ar 46 when he meets one of the Klitschko brothers ,Wladimirlater this month.This guy is one of the hardest hitting punchers n the ring right now.That for me is suicidal enough
After watching de la Hoya being humiliated in the ring, Holyfield had better know what he's getting into. He hasn't lost the dignity yet and he seems to be stable still. Not wanting to sound insensitive, he can ask for a word or two from Ali or de la Hoya too.
For Oscar, I think fight promoting is a more viable option now, Manny vs Ricky Hatton would be a hot one for any promoter worth his salt.

Bull-fighting in Nairobi ?

Some fancy promoter has decided to make life a bit more interesting for Nairobians, insisting that he can bring the bull-fighting sport into the City. A traditional sport mostly in the Western part of Kenya, the practice ( some say it's a sport...???) has attracted attention in the last few years and some local politicians have been known to take advantage and hype their clansmen into the practice.
This year the sport even attracted sponsorship from local companies among them a financial institution. Now the zealous promoter feels its time Kenyans stopped having to plan for the Western trip and have these fights staged right here in the Nairobi.
This has attracted the wrath of animal welfare and rights organisations which feel this is torture against the animals while some politicians have cautioned the promoter to be on the look-out for safety precautions and logistics of transporting and staging the fights.
I'll ask you voice your opinion before making mine known for now.....

Friday, 5 December 2008

Nation Media Group launches

The media wars keep reinventing themselves and today one of Kenyan’s premier media station launched This is an innovative way of trying to capture Kenyan youth and seek their indulgence in issues affecting them be they social issues such as music, theatre and personalities but also interacting with their peers through the forum created by an IT platform –a first of its kind in Kenya. A large emphasis is on entertainment which is slowing challenging mainstream business and waking up a hitherto unexplored area.
Image courtesy of

This is surely to rival its main competition East Standard which records high sales on Friday through its pull-out The Pulse which has a feel on the pulse of Kenyan entertainment scene and other youth-related issues.
Check out the website for more details.

Youth and Sports Ministry Forum

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is holding a 2-day seminar for our local members of parliament to sensitise them on the achievements of the Ministry as well as develop new plans for the coming 3 years as well as be encompassed in the 2030 Vision Kenya.
Good thus far. My issue though was how little sports activities were given credence. The Ministry says it has set up community sports grounds (where?) and youth sports centres (again …where?) and introduced cash reward schemes and honours for our sports personalities. What about the sports policy which was developed and stills lies somewhere in the Ministry’s archives? What of appreciating the growth of sports and introducing incentives for entrepreneurs wishing to invest in developing not just infrastructure but local sports facilities and skills? Maybe you can have a word with the Ministry of Information and Communications and talk to one Mr. Bitange Ndemo who appreciates the pace in which the world is moving.
Retired Col. Murugu, please impress upon our MPs that this industry generates more than its fair share of GDP as well as positive publicity, so they better style up and introduce Bills supporting the commercialization and subsidizing sports programs. 2010 is not too far away…. You know!

Volleyball Clinics for Kenyan youth

With the holidays now raising the tempo for all the merry-making and short celebrations, a former senior Kenyan coach has made time to hone Kenya’s next generation of volleyballers. This comes at a time when the cream of Kenya’s top volleyball players especially the women are reaching their retirement and most having had a taste of glory in continental and national championships.
Mr Gitau has found time to set up youth clinics in Central Kenya-one of the hotspots for Kenyan volleyball talent. These clinics are aimed at giving the youthful players time out to join their peers and enjoy some technical expertise from local coaches. This is a commendable job and only hope it could be translated to the local clubs as they recruit their players.
They can give a tip of advice to the rest of the sporting community as the rest of the country takes a Christmas break which comes early this year since most Kenyans are compensating for what transpired last year and early this year after the elections.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Safari Rally lands inclusion in the 2009 IRC

After missing out in the 2008 IRC calendar ( thanks to our early year domestic issues), the Safari Rally gets the chance to return to the WRC circuit by being included in next year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge calendar. This is a 2nd tier rallying circuit which includes rallies which are being gauged and assessed before they can be included in the WRC which has become strict in terms of inclusion, due to safety, logistical, geograpical and related reasons.

A good turn it maybe. Thanks in part too to one Surinder Thathi who sometime this season raised controversy during the Formula 1 round in Great Britain by penalising McLaren's Lewis Hamilton. The former rally driver now FIA official may have put a good word or two for the rally to be taken as such. FIA already has the Rally as an African Rally Championship event.

With more sponsors on board such as has been the case with KCB, we hope to expedite the process back into the WRC fold. I still think it's one of the toughest races for man and machine and the East African expedition is to die for.


Due to security threats ( rumours even link the Al-Qaeda to this)this year, the famous Paris-Dakar Rally will be relocating to South America for the Buenos Aires-Lisbon-Buenos Aires challenge next year from January 3rd-13th 2009. The flavour is surely not African anymore but we hope the experience will be worthwhile.

Check this for more information.

Is it an African thing that we are losing the lucrative world of rallying to other continents ?

Kenyan Cricket gets Youth Academy

Closing the year on positive, Kenyan cricket is looking into the youth to try restore Kenya's pride as a threat to Test playing nations. Elite Youth Academy to be set up in Ruaraka- Nairobi will look to hone Kenya' s young talent to feed onto the clubs and ultimately the national team.

The academy's proposed manager 2-time World Cup player, Martin Suji said that this is a noble idea whose time's long overdue and looks forward to adding to the Odumbes, Sujis, Tikolos and Patels of the Kenyan cricket heritage. Though a tad bit late, this should go a long way in putting Kenya in a better position to play with the Test Playing nations. ICC should also look into the One-Day-Invitationals which can be spread beyond the Test Playing nations....but that's a topic for another day.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Kenyan ball jugglers try for Guinness Book of World Records

Kenya is known more for its athletics prowess rather than its footballing power. 2 Kenyan brothers have been trying to change that perception of Kenyan entries in the Guinness Book of World Records. Over the years, different Kenyan athletes have featured there with the earliest being Henry Rono back in 1977-8 when he broke and held at least 4 world records over 4 different athletics races.
In the 1980s, John Ngugi made it as the first athlete to win 5 world cross country championships along with other legends such as Julius Kariuki-3000m steeplechase record ( which has since been broken ) along with a host of other athletes.
1990s saw this Moses Kiptanui make the spoils along with a host of other athletes such as Paul Tergat, Richard Chelimo just to name a few.
Back to the ball juggling, where the Yoga brothers, Willis and Kenneth first attempted these records of juggling the ball the longest non-stop with any part of the body and the other juggling the ball on top of a motorcycle.
In 2006,
Willis Yoga, 22, bounced a soccer ball with his head for seven straight hours to break the existing record in his category at 11:45 a.m., but continued the action until 3:15 p.m., when he deliberately let the ball fall, after clocking seven hours, 37 minutes and 18 seconds. On the other hand, Kenneth Yoga, 27, had hoped to break an existing 19-hour juggling time record set by a Brazilian, Eduardo Orige, who bounced a ball using his head and legs, but the ball slipped and fell to the ground at exactly 12:18 p.m. owing to a muscle pull.- Source Ohmy News
The past weekend they attempted the records of juggling the ball with any part of the body and the other for riding on board a motorbike while juggling. While the records await verification, we at Sportskenya applaud them for putting us right there on the Guiness Book of World Records. Check more records here.

Weekend Wrap

This past weekend was a busy one for yours truly. The sporting scene in Kenya or Kenyans involved was big one.


First up, Catherine Ndereba won the 15km road race in the Great Australian Run through Melbourne .She was not the favourite but shrugged off a 2nd place performance in the Olympics for a win and close the season on a high.

A couple of road races sponsored by different companies came alive in the Rift Valley and other parts of the country. The more famous one was Wareng Road Race sponsored by the ever-growing Tuskys Supermarkets. The 6th round of cross country races moved to Meru, one the slopes of Mt. Kenya. These road races are becoming breeding grounds for the Kenyan athletic scene. I wish the same was the case for the shorter races and sprints....Usain's going to be in town.....???


Photo courtesy of IRB
Our Kenyan boys started the 7s season on a high getting to the finals of the Plate at the Dubai 7s. The boys had earlier beaten Argentina and even giving New Zealanders a scare before succumbing to the Samoans who they have been grouped with for the next round in South Africa. Collins Injera emerged as the top try scorer getting 7 tries as Kenya bagged 6 points from the first round. For more on this check out or .

Kenyan swimming sensation, Jason Dunford grabbed 2 gold medals in the ongoing African Swimming Championships in South Africa. Accompanied by swimmers such as Pina Ercolano, Achieng Ajulu, Rachita Shah , Jason will hope to lead the Kenyan team to a respectable position again after putting Kenya on the African map with medals in the games last held in Senegal in 2006. This should also serve as motivation and training for the 2010 Commonwealth Games which should be a precursor to the Olympics going to London in 2012.
Shukrani kwa ushindi huo ! Wakenya hoiyee !

The Kenyan Government officials led by Minister for Youth and Sports-Mrs. Helen Sambili were invited by FIFA to Zurich to plead Kenya's case. As it is there are 2 bodies (if not 3, since one morphed into something new called Football Kenya-FK). There were elections scheduled for this month which now seem to be suspended given the formation of FK. The Government has tried interfering with the sport but given FIFA autocratic ways, there is not much I expect from the deliberations with FIFA's top brass.
Along with that Ashford Mamelodi's stay in Kenya has been rather prolonged and the official was closing a workshop in Mombasa when he said that FIFA's hoping to spend at least 70 million US$ to develop football in Kenya.....I can see them licking their fingers with crooked Kenyan football officials.