Thursday, 15 January 2009

Off-season Preparations

With most leagues enjoying a break, the preparations are underway for most of sports associations and federations.
Rugby –locally will see one of the off-season tournaments the Bamburi Series next month which serves as a good curtain raiser and gauge for the various players wishing to make a mark in their respective teams. On the other hand the 7s team is well into its 3rd circuit which takes them into Wellington next month.
Basketball- most of the teams will be looking to recruit personnel for their teams. A consolation is that no team has dissolved yet, though this may happen given the decrepit conditions the game is showing in the last years. As if to add insult to injury, a number of fresh talents are being poached by American high schools and colleges. This can’t bode well since few of these ever make a contribution to the local game. After the flight, kwaheri is what we say!
KBF has not made any clear intentions of new changes in the League with the officials who were elected early last year still struggling to support the Federation in the measliest of ways.

Hockey- this is another sport having a see-saw of sorts. With elections held last yea, we can hope that the new office gives the league some stimulus. Indications are that the various tournaments ahead of the official season like the Vaisakhi tourney will making a comeback. We do hope no drama will be seen like the boycott and eventual suspension of the junior team to the continental challenge.
Football- the clubs have engaged various professionals and ‘quacks’ alike to prepare for the Kenya Premier League which starts in March. A couple have hired new coaches like the now renamed City Stars (formerly World Hope). The rivalry which existed between perennial opponents such as Leopards and Gor Mahia will be revived after promotion of the former.
Motor-rallying- the Kenya motorsport starts with concerns over sponsorships after the KCB package (worth KShs.130 million ended in 2008) and the collapse of Triton Petroleum which more or less provided fuel to most rallying teams. For an already struggling sport, this is bound to hurt more if no immediate sponsors come on board.
The Safari Rally is included in the International Rallying Championship. Kenya MotorSport Club had better be working overtime to secure the necessary support both financial and logistical.
Swimming- With the success enjoyed by our swimmers last year, swimming has quickly caught on in the country moreso in the City. Over the last few days, thanks to the favourable weather, swimming pools have been brimming with young Kenyans trying to emulate their local hero-Jason Dunford. If this can be sustained and the young talent offered specialized training the kind the Dunford brothers enjoy, we can be sure to produce continental if not world beaters. This is easily becoming one of the emerging sport in Kenya.

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