Tuesday, 30 June 2009

More Money More Problems ?

Last week, Athletics Kenya held the National Championships which though had a low profile, were fairly successful. The organisation seems to enjoy some measure of success enough to attract corporate sponsorship-the latest being the National Bank of Kenya's Sh. 16 m deal-for the junior, youth and kids athletics programme.
According to media reports, this sports organisation had a surplus of Sh.22 m last financial year despite being the busiest association. I believe in terms of financial muscle, they command the most for local sports organisation.
But despite this, there seems to be some under-currents with the officials wrangles simmering quietly. This was brought about by the candidature and subsequent election of David Okeyo-the current Secretary General and now Vice-Chair National Olympics Committee of Kenya-NOCK. The latter is a powerful sports body in the country drawing affiliation to the International Olympics Committee which is almost any sports official's dream to manage.
The current chair runs the organisation roving like a colossus and not entertaining any dissent. Okeyo's election didn't go down well with him and has since been on a silent licking of the wounds and he tries to outdo his junior.
My concern is that these internal wars will eventually spill onto the scene when the country least expects it. We have the World Athletics Championships in August. The country has amost certainly lost the bid to host the Junior contintental championships which the association ought to have secured given the good rapport enjoyed with the Government officials.
I have said before for us to secure the interests of our sportsmen and women, we need to run these organisations more professionally and allow more transparency to occur. That way we save more than a fair share of funds committed and the country's image is secured in the same vein. Well let's see how far this goes....

Additional Information:
The AK had last year published their annual report complete with a financial report for public consumption- for the year ended 31st December 2007. This year they have scanty information on a badly developed and maintained website ( must have cost less than 150$- to develop and host).
According to media reports, they have sponsorships of Kshs.4.5m from New KCC for the national trials, sh. 4.6m from KCB for the national cross-country championships, sh. 7.5m from StanChart for the Nairobi Marathon and now the 16m from National Bank. There must be some unmentioned monies from sponsors like Nike and the IAAF grants.

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