Friday, 28 August 2009

Kenyan Golf finds home in Kenya Golf Network

Kenyan Golf has been flirting with Kenya Data Networks, thanks to the work of one Vincent Wang'ombe-Chief Marketing Officer-KDN. The Kenya Golf Union and the Kenya Ladies Golf Union will be linked across the 38 golf clubs in the country and offer online convergence by developing a portal for information sharing locally and internationally.
As the IT companies raise the stakes in developing content, KDN has been making deliberate moves in golf. They started out with sponsoring the Kenya Golf circuit and this seems to be developing into a healthy relationship.
This portal will include among others;
- registration for golf rounds at the different golf clubs,
- golf calendars,
- golf handicaps, and
- SMS service, among others.
The venture is a welcome boon to sports in Kenya. We look forward to learn from such disciplines as the country hopes to sell its different destinations and using sports tourism. For more details click here.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

All Motor Now - Total Motorshow 2009

As we look to close what has been a rather cold month, you can warm your body by rolling by the Motorshow once again sponsored by Total at the Ngong Racecourse. For you who can afford to throw a few shillings into a motor car or anything on 2 to 28 wheels, this is your forum.

Logo courtesy of Total Kenya

Fun activities are also planned including 4x4 drives, stunt drives as well as helicopter rides. Adult charges = 300 /= and children 100 / = and the event starts tomorrow running till Sunday. Be there to discover the latest in motoring experience!
For more info check this...

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Cast-Her Semenya - Who's fooling who ?

For sometime we all thought we had the 800m women's title(s) wrapped after last year's Olympic Games. Pamela Jelimo and Janeth Jepkosgei had won both gold and silver and I thought we finally had our own version of the Ethiopian legends. Wait till Caster Semenya happened on the scene...
Since her win she has managed to eclipse any other athlete even 'the Bolt' from Jamaica. What was easily one of the most exciting athletics meet in recent times has boiled down to what symbol Semenya represents...
What has incensed me though are two observations. First the IAAF has handled the whole affair badly and thanks to media which sniffs like rabid dogs, Semenya's goose was roasted once in the Finals of the 800 race. Where were they when Semenya won the junior championships last both at the World and Commonwealth championships?
Secondly while the South Africans were justified to feel angered by the treatment of one of their 3 heros from the World Athletics Championship, the whole scene having politicos shouting this and that made bad publicity and will only precipitate the situation.The ANC officials were the worst culprits drawing out the likes of Winnie Mandikizela out of the woodwork. With findings suggesting that Semenya has about 3 times the normal levels of testosterone, the saga will continue to elicit emotive actions.
It would border on insanity for anyone to even have thought of sneaking in anything like that if it's proven but for now let Semenya be. I'm sure we all know of the local tom-boy who may even more masculine than we know. What happened to liberal society ?

By the way, is the athlete by any chance a relation of the more famous musical brother Caiphus Semenya?

Monday, 24 August 2009

Berlin World Athletics- Kenya's Performance

First things first! Congratulations to those who won Kenya's gold medals. Special mention to the middle and long distance ladies for breaking Ethiopia's stronghold on the these distances.
Secondly, I guess the Germans are finally waking up and warming up our hearts with their hosting sports events. They have shown us what technology, hospitality and efficiency can do to sport. Who can't remember the warmth of the mascot when the German discuss thrower won his event and they ran the breadth of the track at one point being carried on the back?

Berlino does the Lightning Strikes with Bolt

Bragging rights in order? We missed the medal count by 2 bronze medals. OK, we may have missed the events which we thought we would win medals in but all the same, our analysis was 85% on point. We will continue making these observations for major events based on season news,historical info and current happenings.
Athletics Kenya needs to work on our team strategy which at some points seemed to be non-existent ( look at the 1500m men and the 5000m too). They may have done a good job reducing the number of Grand Prix events our athletes loving running in.
Our tactical approach also needs serious honing, seems the ladies are picking something our gentlemen are missing.
What happened to the short races especially the 400m? We used to challenge even in the relay and was waiting for this action yesterday only to see our fellow African brothers seriously humiliated.
Looking forward to the African Athletics Championships in Nairobi next year ! Till then Wiedersehen & Karibu Sana !

Friday, 14 August 2009

Rugby 7s to feature in 2016 Olympics

For what would have been a worthy opportunity for Kenya's Rugby 7s team to showcase and fight for the medal standings, the wait has to be a little longer. The IOC has decided to consider the Rugby 7s as a feature sporting discipline in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games where the host city will be known on October 9th,2009 at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen.
Cities bidding to host the Games include, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo (which wishes to host the second time after first hosting in 1964). My take would be for Rio or Chicago (especially given Pres. Obama's strong endorsement).
As for rugby 7s, the IRB had put a good show including Kenya's own Humphrey Khayange. Let's hope our Kenyan team will make the cut and we'll have developed a formidable team by then. 7 years is not too much to ask for preparations.
Other sports considered for the 2012 Games are Women's Boxing. For the 2016 Games, Golf will also be featured.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Athletics: World Championships Kenyan Team

With the World Athletics Championships about to start from 15th August, Kenya has sent what I would put on paper as one of the strongest team to the German capital. With a fair share of the country's Olympic medallists qualifying, we can expect some real gold medal prospects for the country, but let's not humour ourselves too much.

We will give a brief preview of medal prospects here;

(Men): Alfred Kirwa, last year's bronze medallist at the Olympics games & reigning champ is captain of the team ( will it be motivating like it was for Wilfred Bungei last year?. He is partnered by David Rudisha & Jackson Kivuva. OUR TAKE: GOLD & BRONZE
( Women): Last year's sensation in the athletics world,Pamela Jelimo and Janeth Jepkosgei will again be hot favourites for gold & silver if from the national qualifiers anything is to go by.OUR TAKE: GOLD & SILVER

Men: Asbel Kiprop, with his signature one (not middle finger ...) salute on the finishing line will try graduate to the gold status. But American Kenyan-born Bernard Lagat and Olympic gold medallist Bahrain's Ramzi will be at hand to give the necessary competition. Kiprop has lieutenants in Augustine Choge & Haron Keitany to pace him up or they might upstage him and go for the prize. OUR TAKE: SILVER
Women: This was a pleasant surprise last year during the Olympics and this time we might not get so lucky. Nancy Jebet seeks to crown her career with another gold and her compatriot Irene Jelagat will also make a run-in. OUR TAKE: NO MEDALS (Sorry, but the form book says otherwise)

3000m steeplechase
For what most Kenyans believe is their event, we expect nothing less and the boys have what it takes to do just that. Brimin Kipruto will seek to regain his world title while Richard Mateelong will hope to break the 'bronze medal' jinx.The Frenchman who is making a run in will be at it again but 4 Kenyans, you can't beat that! OUR TAKE: GOLD & BRONZE.
Ruth Bosibori has been a rather patient athlete. She needs this to break free from the Olympics games disappointment. She has Gladys and Milkah to back her up and maybe just maybe, get to become like their brothers and start a ladies version of steeplechase supremacy. The Russians too will not be sleeping. OUR TAKE: SILVER

Ever since one Kenenisa Bekele happened on the scene, our Kenyan brothers have had nightmares and never really manage to fight these demons. They will be at it again and Eliud Kipchoge the only one closest to beating this Ethiopian legend may take a bow and honourably as such. Bernard Lagat may spoil the party but you never know. OUR TAKE: SILVER (Again !)
This has been a tough preposition for our sisters and the Ethiopians led by Tirunesh Dibaba will be out to spoil the party as usual. OUR TAKE: BRONZE ( At the most!)

Another of the specialties of the Ethiopian athletes, we need to find it within ourselves and make this happen. Another spoiler could be the Eritrean brother who won the 2007 who might get into the mix of things. OUR TAKE: SILVER (Oops, again!)
The Ethiopians again run this town. I'd wish to say we can make the party but alas, not this time. OUR TAKE: No Medals

We have formidable team led by Robert 'Mwafrika' Cheruiyot-4 time Boston Marathon winner, who makes marathon running look like child's play. He will have Daniel Rono- Toronto Marathon winner & Abel Kirui , reigning Vienna Marathon winner who finished second in the Berlin Marathon where Haile Gebreselassie set a world record.Emmanuel Mutai and Benjamin Mutai complete the marathoners.
OUR TAKE: GOLD & BRONZE ( we have the pedigree,baby!)
Hellen Kiprop, Martha Komu, Julie Murage and Irene Lemika & Risper Kimaiyo form our ladies charge for the marathon. Too bad Catherine 'The Great' Ndereba will not be at hand to defend her title,she would have offered great leadership and a medal too. OUR TAKE: No Medals ( Not enough pedigree...)

(PREDICTED) TOTAL MEDAL HAUL : 4 Gold, 5 Silver and 4 Bronze.

- In the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Kenya finished second behind USA with 5 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze medals.

- Overall, Kenya is the third most winning country with a total of 27 gold , 22 silver and 23 bronze. Fourth-placed Germany is just a gold medal away from overhauling us

- Kenya did not win any Gold in the inaugural Games in 1983 but came back with a bang in 1987 to take 3 golds with a surprise win in the marathon by then little known Douglas Wakiihuri.

For more updates, follow the event here.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Concours D' Elegance 2009-Access Kenya in the House !

This year's Concours d'Elegance will be running at the Nairobi Racecourse on 27th September. A major boon though is the title sponsorship of Access Kenya. With a prize money of KShs. 1.5 m and an additional 2 million for logistics including tickets, trophies, spectator attractions among others have been taken care of.
The Concours is marking the 39th edition since the Alfa Romeo Owners'Club started this event in 1969. The event has been able to expand beyond the national boundaries and attract international interest such as the 2 South African cars and 2 motorcyclists from Tanzania. It has also attained continental interest and will for the fifth year be titled Africa Concours D'Elegance 2009.
Access Kenya will hope to bring its expertise and among the expected platforms are live sms voting for the day's favourite car, wireless solutions among many others. They will hope to celebrate the landing of the fibre optic cable.
Entrants are reminded that the cars entries are restricted to 70 while the motorbikes to 40. Already 80% of the slots are already taken, better hurry that paint job and engine tinker if you wish to parade your machine in this 'beauty show' for vehicles.
Mark your calendars car and motorbike enthusiasts and we'll see you there !

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Spriteball Finals

The Final round of the Spriteball comes to its grand finale at the Railways Sports Ground on Friday and Saturday on 14th & 15th August. After touring major towns in the country including Eldoret, Kisumu and Mombasa, the tour lands in town with lots of prospective youth in participation as this remains the main hub for talent in the game.
On the panel is expected to include Juwan Antonio Howard-of Charlotte Bobcats which features in the US NBA, along with KBF officials
Mark your calendars and make way to the grounds for this action-packed weekend !

Monday, 10 August 2009

Monday Briefs...

Coca-Cola Africa will be having the World Cup trophy make a trip into the country. This will be an interesting trip for the Cup which is to be hosted in Africa for the first time. Coke remains one of the major partners for FIFA and thus is only logical they sponsor such a trip.
From media reports, Arsenal (maybe the reserves or one or two players) should be coming in this week for an exclusive with their fans in Kenya. This maybe too close to the start of the season thus nothing much to say. This invitations-only event is planned on Thursday. The trip is organised by Sky Data, Terry Neil Sports Service & Exclamation Marketing. ( Arsenal had a player by the name Terry Neil , so maybe that adds up...)

African Football-Orange to colour the African continent

With the Orange telecom company from France, covering the better part of the continent with its telecom services, they have raised their profile even higher in sports by sponsoring all Confederation of African Football (CAF)events.
From media reports, the specific details have not been disclosed but the company has agreed to an 8-year sponsorship deal covering major tournaments like the African Cup of Nations, the African Champions League among others.
The deal came through after the MTN 4-year deal came to an end. MTN is an official sponsor for the 2010 World Cup and also a major African telecom company.
This will be an interesting preposition as next year sees the Cup of Nations open up the continent's football bonanza in Angola followed by the World Cup which we still hope(sic) will be hosted by South Africa.

Spoccer -Kenyan Football News for you

If you have been a keen follower of the Kenyan football scene, you have noticed we have quite a number of channels covering the game. With the Kenya football website, KPL website, the latest kid on the block is Spoccer. This is a monthly pocket-sized newsletter which also has a website. They have a number of highlights from the player of the month,monthly fixtures, national team news among others.
This is a positive move forward. Given the level of interest the local league is attracting, such avenues will provide the necessary online support and provide the news to the rest of the world. We will witness an improvement in the game, as is demanded from the fans who have been given a raw deal over the last few years. Media deals, sponsorship deals from the corporate world and serious club structures will mean a movement towards achieving a truly professional league.
Though KPL is yet to get there, with such ventures as this, they can only get better unless proven otherwise.The balls on their court, we're ready and kickin' the action !

Friday, 7 August 2009

Another Boon for Sports

The corporate world in Kenya seems to have smelt the coffee and finally woken up to the reality of the potential in sports. This week saw another company agree to sponsor Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association Games to be held later on this month in Malindi. This package's worth KShs. 5.5 million, no mean feat for junior sports, from Brookside Dairies.
This is hot in the heels of another corporate's sponsorship of the same event-Barclays Bank of Kenya. The competition that corporate firms are having to sponsor this and that sport is really healthy and creating some buzz in the sports world. The exposure that we have gained through such initiatives is enormous and the company's too learn a thing or two about their target market.
This is to hoping we shall see more and more money making its way into sport and investing in the younger lads. These guys are bursting off the blocks and are waiting in the wings, rugby 7s and athletics can attest to this.
But we must not forget to keep the sports officials in check, they still need some serious professionalism infused. We can't lie down and expect heaven with monies pouring in, work for the next big thing. Ask the US Basketball Collegiate League and the NBA !

AFC vs Gor Mahia- Days gone by

One of Kenya's major sporting landmarks back in the day was a battle of the titans in Kenyan football, AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia. These two teams attracted huge fan bases. I can confess to have been a fan of one of the teams, and one of the first live matches which lured me into football back in the day involved one of these teams playing the local lads in our town ( yes I'm NOT the typical Nairobian though that's become like my hub for now...I digress).
Armed with traditional dancers and all sorts of paraphernalia, the legions of fans had become the backbone of these teams and travelled far and wide to ensure the teams won their games. AFC Leopards was the first team in the region to win the CECAFA Club Championship 3 times. They have also won the League 12 times. On the other hand, Gor Mahia is the only East African club to have won the African Club Cup Winners Cup back in 1987 and also follow AFC closely with 11 wins of the League.
That was then.
Right now the two clubs are faring badly with AFC at the bottom of the table while Gor Mahia is also flirting with the bottom half of the table standings. This weekend the 2 teams face off at Nyayo Stadium against a backdrop of heavy stakes on either side; AFC looking to regain their winning ways while Gor Mahia can't afford another loss as their fans have demonstrated rather loudly.
If you feel inclined to shout yourself hoarse and also risk a limb or two, be there tomorrow afternoon. If you are like some of others, please stay at home and watch the game on SuperSport.

Kenyan Football- National jokers !

I thought I was not reading it right but the Kenyan national team( 105th on FIFA rankings) is planned to play friendly games in Malaysia, South East Asia. Yes Malaysia, ranked 152nd in the world ! What criteria do our football officials use to get these friendlies that they play before crucial matches? From the rankings, it would even be better playing our neighbours Uganda who are the highest ranked East Africans at 75th place.
Or maybe we are trying to be like the European teams whose mission there is more commercial than anything? Or maybe we will re-discover our firepower? The weather is unfavourable and there are just enough reasons why this trip stinks to high heaven.
Tell us FKL officials, what's this all about?

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Sir Bobby Robson- Football Legend departs

Bobby & Jose at Barcelona's triumph -1997 European's Cup Winners Cup

One of football's legend departed from us yesterday after a long battle with cancer. I remember him most as the English manager who led the England team into the semi-finals ( painfully for us who favoured Cameroon's dream run ) in the 1990 World Cup in Italy. He also mentored another great coach Jose Mourinho and managed a number of English teams. SportsKenya takes a bow to this legend !

World Athletics Championships-Media madness

Is it me or does the media just get wrong all the time when we have training for major meets? The other day, as I was watching the sports news I saw this media house cover the training session of the national team as they went through their paces after moving their training from the major stadia which are hosting other sports events.
They maybe looking for a news item (as they are almost always short of local content...) but the damage they do to our sports personalities is irreparable. If you check other sports networks, they usually avail themselves for training sessions for sports like football and try get their news from there. The teams are usually very secretive of what and how much access is given to media.
The same ought to be done to our national team. That's why we have people called media liaisons. When you are up against some of the most competitive teams like the Ethiopians, Eritreans and North Africans as well as upcoming individual talents from France (in 3000m steeplechase), Ugandans, Qataris among others; you don't go telling the world what you are doing.
Take a case of what Kenya's Harambee Stars coach Hey has done and banned media from shooting training sessions of the team. The same needs to be done and if there any burning issues, the media should seek proper briefs not seeing some images of a Tv crew blowing dust to a team on a mission to keep our image up there ( not our doomed politicians who keep shooting themselves time and again).

Was that a bird, was that a plane, no it's the AK Bus !

Athletics Kenya, I'll do this for free but please moderate or even ban these guys !