Thursday, 2 September 2010

Sports Policy : - Mr. Minister less talk, more walk , please, will get it done...

As is the case with every new Minister for Youth and Sports Affairs, there is lots to say but much more to do than portends to be. Mr Minister, as you aptly put it, there is a 'big' matter of the Sports Bill which ought to help administer sports bodies in Kenya some which have operated under rogue characters while others seem like monopolies tied to few individuals tightly running the discipline(s).

From our brief there are some more issues which though on paper are not being done. Our nosy selves found this little policy document which among others is supposed to have a National Sports Institute who's vision is ..."be a leading institution in sports training and capacity building in the country". There are the following bodies (centres) supposed to be set up under this Institute;
  1. Centre for Sports Science
  2. Centre for Documentation and Information.
  3. Centre for Sports Marketing
  4. Sports Heritage Centre
None is in existence as we speak. Fair though we might say on the intended establishment of the International Sports Academy at Kasarani, Nairobi.
There is the other sporting body that is under your Ministry going by the name Sports Stadia Management Board - which has become like a dumping ground for political cronies. They may have spruced up two of the countries biggest stadia, but that doesn't stop there. There are more 5 stadiums in need of reclaiming, renovating and generating the much-needed income that the Board is mandated to do. And no don't give us the charade that was the naming rights of one of the stadias, you lost and LOST BIG in the past 2010 World Cup ( by not hosting a single nation even for a day!).
Mr. Minister, there is the small bit that we have tackled down there of alcohol and the ban in advertising and sponsorship(s). With Tobacco out ( which almost entirely killed Kenyan rallying), and now alcohol, what options are there for sports federations to pursue and what is the line Ministry doing to cushion our fratenity against this?
Mr. Minister, we are about to go to another major meet in the name of Commonwealth Games. Shall we have the usual retinue of 50 athletes and 100 officials 'bloating our budget' yet coming home with less than 10 medals? As a Ministry, please help us save this much-needed spending by sending ONLY those deserving to be there.
As a Ministry too, work with the Finance Ministry to help get tax holidays, tax rebates for those willing to invest in sport. As an example, please travel to Brazil and see what they are doing hoping to become one of the few countries to host the Olympics and World Cup back-to-back. Being an emerging economy, we can learn so much from their success and see what can aid our fledging sports industry ( You might also want to make time for Cuba seeing as it the lost glory in our boxing team, fondly named 'The Hit Squad'.
Oops before we forget, there is the other matter of Football in know as we do, the 'magnanimity' of the world body FIFA in running the sport. We currently have a fairly organised local league which if well-managed and supported can see us become the 'pride of Africa'. The elections are around the corner. We shall be watching your move and that of the prospective officials...burn the midnight oil reading all those statutes that FIFA might use against the country and this document from Transparency International on local sports but for goodness sake, save the sport.
Well as we said, the less talk, the more you'll get the work done! Ours is to remain vigilant for the sake of the country and our sportsmen!

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