Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Kenyan Swimmers finish 4th in Africa Swimming Championships

Kudos to the Kenyan swimming team for finishing in a commendable 4th position in the continental championships.This will serve as a good morale booster as the team prepares for the Commonwealth Games which start in India in October.
Jason Dunford - courtesy of Stanford University
The good thing is that we have made a good case for hosting the championships coming to Nairobi in 2012. The Dunford brothers have also made ours a great sporting nation by showing that we have added talent not the traditional medal hopefuls.
But the same good fortune almost ends there. While the Dunford brothers have dominated the medals coming home (3 gold & 2 silver while one other swimmer won the only bronze), it is time the Kenya Swimming Federation ensured that their legacy doesn't end there. They need to cultivate a lasting impression not just on future swimming juniors but have this translated to national meets. It is a fact that the sport is not for the faint-hearted both in physical and financial requirements, but very little has been done by the relevant authorities to ensure they invest in the sport locally. 
We also remember the tussle that saw one Ajulu Bushnell move base to Britain (how I wish the dual citizenship could be in force to ensure we keep a hold of this future star...). It is sad that Kenyan authorities did not do enough to argue their case and this is not like athletics where we can afford to 'export' our athletes.
Future Kenyan Swimmers 
Kenya Swimming Federation needs become proactive in securing not just corporate sponsorships and individual sponsorships for the swimmers (since it is an individual sport anyway...), they need develop swimming academies for youth development and clinics and translate the benefits of the sport to our young populace. 
Besides being a healthy lifestyle, we all know the researchers concerns of our younger population becoming obese and taking on life's dangerous cycles in alcohol and other drugs which is slowly cutting off a certain generation - as the 2009 Kenya Census findings indicate.
Let's hope the Dunford brothers shall help and guide Kenyan swimming talent to blossom and better their showings in both continental and international meets. It shall be for the good of the country for us to realise what we have (but let it not be only when it's gone...)

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