Maybe we've not read the fine print, but not much was mentioned with regards to sports development in the Kenyan Budget estimates for the financial year 2010/11. What sounds ironic is the fact that for the first time, a sitting President missed the Budget reading to attend to what....sports extravanganza !
2008 had the then Finance Minister allocate a measly Kshs. 1m per constituency towards sponsoring football tournaments which didn't go as expected thanks in part to the murky Kenyan football management scene. If the technocrats in the Ministry could look deeper into their reports and especially with remittances from winnings abroad, they would see that our sportsmen are some of the biggest contributors to the national kitty.
Another observation is that Kenyan corporate firms are taking a bigger role in developing sport in the country. The Government can do the same by matching the amounts in major sports development programmes. The Sports Stadia is one such body which hasn't put in a good show in the last 2 years.
Incentives can be offered to development of infrastructure like we have seen with the golfing parks being built at Rea Vipingo and the expected Thika Greens. That way, the begging cup that federations have been used to can be channelled towards enhancing competitiveness in their respective leagues.
Youth development programmes are some popular tunes we have sung for the longest time but in actual sense, it remains that, lip service. There are other suggestions that we have outlined many a times on this platform.
Barbs in plenty to the Ministry of Finance for such an oversight in the midst of such a glaring opporturnity for sport !!!
In Other News:
When one Ministry dithered and ignored the sporting world, another was busy rewarding our own as Goodwill ambassador. The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sport yesterday appointed McDonald Mariga as Kenya's Goodwill Ambassador in Italy. In discussion is the possibility of attracting more visitors from Italy ( currently ranked 3rd with lowly 67,000 visitors after US & UK ; patronising Kenya's coastal town of Malindi) ; developing youth academies in Kenya in liaison with Italian clubs to spot and nurtute talent. Do these guys sit in the same Cabinet ???