Friday, 22 October 2010

AFC Leopards v/s Gor Mahia - Kenya's Football Derby

Yes, the Kenyan football scene works up some new fever and this time though the timing is slightly different given the fact that each of the team has different battles to fight for. Leopards' fighting for a favourable finish, while Gor is hoping to cut Ulinzi's table-topping lead points to a more realistic chance of winning the Kenya Premier League.
Both teams have had mixed fortunes in the run in the League this year with Leopards suffering more even with the earlier promise of a better finish. They also won the 1st leg of this fixture against K'Ogalo. But inconsistent form has led them to a high of 5th position (though currently at 8th place).
Gor on the other hand have a huge following and they shall be counting on the same to match their good form at the Nyayo National Stadium. But given the time in the season, the latter look to be yearning for a better show this time and the games left this one is the most difficult one.
The game shall be played at 1900hrs East African time and shall be screened on SuperSport 9. Tickets are being sold at the selected outlets and Nyayo National Stadium ( why create such a logistical nightmare in the light of the Kenya-Uganda game, can't tell...).

Predictions : Gor Mahia - AFC Leopards : 3-1
May the best team on the day win !

In other news, 2 Kenyan footballers have been called up by French clubs for trials. It's our hope they can do a good job and join our erstwhile and often unpredictable Dennis Oliech as we look to increase our Kenyan footballing talent in Europe.

Quick One:
Heartfelt wishes to the families of the fans whose lives were lost or who's hurt from Saturday's stampede. We had mentioned the organisational nightmare at Nyayo National Stadium a few weeks ago after the Kenya-Uganda game but no one from the Sports Stadia Management Board or Kenya Football Limited seemed to listen. How do you sell the tickets for such a game in one day and expect the crowd to be orderly?
We also mentioned the risk of a huge crowd and safety measures at the same ground. Sad that we have to wait for tragedy for us to make the necessary arrangements. We shall not apportion blame here but SSMB, FKL , KPL and also the respective club 'unruly' fans have a bad taste in their mouths on this one.
For future games;

  • Sell tickets 72 hours to the game and the final ones should be sold at the worst 6 hours to the game. 
  • Ensure the club fans are at the venue early enough and lock all gates an hour to the kick-off ( no preferences here) -  invest in big screens for late comers to view at a designated fan park nearby or around the stadium. 
  • Invest in new technology - why do we have to use people to cut tickets until the last minute before kick-off? Invest in bar-code ticketing and that way the only people you shall need are security people confirming safe entry.
  • Maintenance of the physical structures at the Stadium - for heaven's sake, how do you have 2-4 gates open when the venue is serviced by over 10 gates? Especially for a game of this magnitude? The excuse of late-comers and the weather doesn't cut. This is NOT the first derby of its kind and shall surely not be the last.

You have cost the clubs game attending fans and unless the necessary measures are undertaken, come March when we host another international match and who knows what shall happen...

Mashujaa Day – Kenyan Sports Heroes paraded but honoured? Hmmm….

One of the milestones this year in Kenya’s history was the (peaceful) change of constitutional order which is still sinking in to one and all in the Kenyan scene.  Among the changes the new order recommended was the reduction and renaming of the public holidays - 20th October previously known as Kenyatta Day became Heroes (Swahili Mashujaa) Day.
The first of these days’ was marked on Wednesday with the usual (rather unexciting) march past and parades and one of the ‘highlights’ was the Kenyan sporting heroes. A quick glance of the day’s heroes showed a mix of both young and old sports people widely represented in athletics, football, boxing and latter day ones in swimming.
Good thing so far. The tragedy is as one of the heroes held, “…get me a medal, parade me before Kenyans and national TV, invite me for lunch with the powers-that-be load me with a 500-note and get me on my way...
What happens to our past sporting heroes that we can’t honour them in a better way? Develop a transitional system to cushion the sporting personalities against the snares of life; use some of these as role models to the youth who are seriously missing local heroes ( remember make-believe Makmende?); and name major sporting venues, roads, streets after some of these sterling performers.
We can do a better job too if we develop a National Sports Archives or Hall of Fame for different sporting heroes. This has been sampled by the Athletics Kenya though not with much success as regards public awareness and information-sharing bit. A National Sports Trust (here's South Africa's example) of the kind that will pool together winnings and tax bonuses of the sportsmen for future drawings can be developed. The Trust can engage in long-term investments or be part of the capital investments that Governments engage in.
The Trust can also be enjoined to such community services such as the Kenya Charity Sweepstakes and other lottery games which are seen as potent fund-raisers. Surely there is a better way to honour our best than what we are already doing...

Monday, 18 October 2010

Women's World Cup Championship - Can Kenyan ladies stop being the whipping kids?

After the Commonwealth Games next up is the Women Volleyball World C'ships to keep Kenyan sports enthusiasts engaged. Since the discipline is not part of the Club Games, the ladies have been away in a nondescript training camp where they have been after Sports Stadia Management Board locked them out of the Kasarani gymnasium.
When they were receiving the flag last week on Wednesday, we could not help but see that they maybe filling the slots and not be ready for the challenge. Even with the ladies having conquered Africa for the last 15 years both at national and continental fronts, on the global stage, it is a different preposition. 
Take that - Image courtesy of www.

Poor Preparations:
Starting with a rather worrisome fact that they had to train in a secluded camp some place in the Central part of Kenya, the team has had some tough times. The team selection also raised eyebrows with some regulars such as Janet Wanja getting the boot apparently for disobeying team orders of travelling for club engagements without permission.
Technically we feel the team still doesn't have the bone to succeed in at least winning a single game at the outing. The Kenya Volleyball Federation has stuck to the local tacticians who with all due respect have just enough exposure at international levels. Contrary to what we had last time when we had a Japanese volleyball coach helping the team tackle some of those technical aspects, we shall rely on good old 'African power' to sail us through to the next round. 

Starting with the camp, the best the team can do now is maintain a tight training schedule and as much as possible draw inspiration from their Commonwealth countrymen and women who did the country proud. They might also want to borrow inspirational movies such as A League of their Own, Remember the Titans among others.
As much as we don't seem destined for the second and upcoming  games, the technical team should consult with the visiting squads' management for future exchange visits. Brazil is one country the authorities should consult; first because they have a well-developed local league, are among challengers in both regular and beach volleyball, are looking to host the 2016 Olympics and we have a good window of opportunity right there. The country has a well-developed sports policy and almost adoptable to the Kenyan case unlike more developed economies of Western & Eastern Europe.
Once back from the international outing, Kenya Volleyball Federation SHOULD look to strengthening the local Women's League. We wouldn't want a similar story to what happened to the men's game which is now just a past-time to most players having shown much promise in the 1980s only for the Government and Federation to watch it spiral out of control. Professionalise and make it viable for players to engage in the sport ( the Kenyan rugby 7s way if not better)
Enjoy the outing and avoid simple errors which lose the game(s). The power and stamina of the African woman should come into play and let it be your ace down the sleeve. We shall be cheering you on with every set won.
From the current rankings and group set-up we are skewed to lose 3 games and maybe just maybe win 2 games (against Czech Republic and Puerto Rico).  Our group includes;
- Brazil (among favourites for Finals)
- Czech Republic
- Italy
- Netherlands
- Puerto Rico

Pray you shall give us some fair stay in Japan and as they say すべてのベスト!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Kenya's Best Commonwealth Outing - Our Future looks Bright...

Thanks to our athletes our very modest predictions have been clearly outdone and that's great to note. The success of the outing is a great motivator to future generations engaging in sport - at least now we can build on something and not rest on our laurels.
Though major sporting nations were not represented, this didn't stop our sportsmen putting on a good showing and going the extra mile to ensure they challenged the pecking order of Commonwealth nations. This was our best outing ever at the Club Games and we shall shine the spotlight on a few of the sportsmen/women we thought did a great job out there;

1) Jason Dunford (Gold Medal 50m Butterflystroke) - Without any doubt, he is edging his place into the history books from his international outings. Coming from a non-traditional country in the swimming circles and also given the fact they we do not have the right facilities, the gods have been good to their cause with the university (Stanford) providing a great training ground. The family has also been more than supportive helping ensure the boys get training facilities in Europe which have been well tested. His past African and Olympic exploits are coming to fruition and still rising.
If those who award national awards are listening those Elder of the Golden Heart and Moran of the Burning Spear should not be awarded to taciturn and bureaucratic civil servants and politicians, these are the people who deserve them.
Verdict: 5 Stars

2) Nancy Jebet Langat( 800m & 1500m Gold )-At the 2008 Olympic Games, Kenyans read the headlines of a double gold medal win - one from the 800m men's contest by the more flamboyant and captain of Kenyan team Wilfred Bung'ei. The other gold was from the then little known Nancy Jebet -who's so unassuming other athletes underestimate her tenacity. Well this year she springs another suprise by doing a double in yes her speciality the 1500m and 800m. Some may say that the top athletes in the distance in the likes of Pamela Jelimo, Janeth Jepkosgei and South Africa's Caster Semenya were not around but who cares? She did her bit and was rewarded for that.
Verdict: 5 Stars

Mark Mutai just makes it - courtesy of
3) Mark Kiprotich Mutai (400m Gold Medal & 4x400m silver ) - having shown some great sprint work at the African Athletics Championships and being denied a bronze medal in the individual 400m race he made it even sweeter stretching the Australian in the 400m and winning by the slimmest of margins. He also anchored the 4x400m relay team and scorched the track and missing the gold but settling for second-best.
Verdict: 4 Stars

4) Milcah Cheywah, Mercy Wanjiru Njoroge, Gladys Jerotich Kipkemoi (3000m Women's Steeplechase Gold , Silver & Bronze )  - theirs may have seemed like an easy race but when you come up and decide to share the spoils between yourselves and annihilate the competition from the other countries, that's no mean achievement. The water obstacle and how one jumped as they said is what won the race and  Milcah led the way for a Kenyan 1-2-3 sweep.
Verdict: 3 Stars

5) Irene Kosgei & John Eriku Elai ( Women & Men's Marathon Gold ) - waiting for an event till the last day in the humid conditions of the Indian sub-continent is not an easy thing. It also doesn't help when all your role models are busy winning the marathons in more lucrative races as the Boston, Berlin marathons portend. But the two decided to run their races and the former Irene led another Irene ( Mogake) into a 1-2 for the Commonwealth race.
Verdict: 3 Stars

6) Boaz, Richard and Abraham Kiplagat(not related) (800m Gold,Silver and Bronze) - slowly making up for lost ground are the men's 800m athletes who are trying to emulate the 1980s & 90s exploits of Billy Konchellah, Paul Ereng and William Sigei. They did this with style getting another 1-2-3 sweep.
Verdict : 3 Stars

Grace Momanyi - courtesy of Flickr
7) Grace Momanyi ( Gold Women 10000m) & Silas Kiplagat (1500m Gold) - She and Doris Chepkwemo gave Kenyans another 1-2 finish which continued the trend of the Kenyan athletes in the Games. Same case to Silas Kiplagat leading James Kiplangat in the 1500m race.
Verdict: 3 Stars

Special Mentions:
- Grace Wanjiru - 20 Km Bronze medallist
Richard Mateelong  & 3000m Steeplechase medallists
- Benson Njangiru - Silver Medallist - Flyweight
- Rugby Sevens Team ( very modestly here for beating Samoa at most)

By close of the Games, Kenya topped the athletics medal table  11 Gold, 10 Silver & 9 Bronze medals( ahead of South Africa and Nigeria...hehehe) and that's a great achievement. As said there earlier, if the Kenyan authorities were to be genuine enough in awarding national honours, these are some who deserve to be on that roll.  We had also kept our forecast realistic but they have proved they have what it takes to be at international meets.

Brand Kenya too needs to wake from the slumber (though we are told someone is working on it....imagine someone in India remembers Maurice Odumbe even after we sacrificed him on the corridors of justice....tragic!)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Kenya v/s Uganda 0-0 :12th man doesn’t get his money’s worth

It was to be a clash of monumental proportions, a decisive tie for Kenya but the show never happened. Well for those of us who braved the scorching sun to make our way into the stadium, lots of disappointment and unmet expectations.
The Ugandans had promised to come in their bus loads and they did. By last count there were twenty 49-seater buses with more minibuses (some parked in town due to heavy traffic on Uhuru Highway) and numerous personal vehicles. Oh by the way it was Independence Day today and maybe that’s why they should up in their numbers.
They said that it was the 12th man who would make victory ours. That we did and the droves of fans had streamed in from 10 a.m. As we made our way into the stadium, some not interesting sights of Kenyans ‘cutting queues’ and security hired for the day (G4S...Ponyoka na $$$) and regular police kept allowing impatient & irritating guys who almost faced the wrath of fans who filed along well.
Onto the game and our boys looked a bit rusty and the Ugandans looked more technically able. They kept our defence on the back seat for the first 15min with good use of the flanks. We took time to get the game back and Mariga started lording it over the midfield but most of the other players around him kept waiting for him to make his move.
The best chance of the 1st half was the dead ball situation which Mariga cut down through the wall but straight into the hands of the able goalkeeper who plays for SuperSport in South Africa.  Much of the action in the first half was not all that to write home about.
2nd half and the game Kenyans had gone to watch almost came to pass. With Mariga now making some nice exchanges with the rest of the players in the mould of  Edgar Ochieng, Victor Mugabe and Dennis Oliech.The worst bit was the fact that we didn’t quite utilize those chances. Another deadball situation and Mariga’s kick hit the post again.
Mid-way into the 2nd half and the Ugandas were back to their flanks and the right one looked like their favourite side. They saw more of the ball and they seemed content to cross them past our goal mouth. By the 80th minute, it looked like ours was a lost cause.
Man of the Match : Without a doubt, MacDonald Mariga - we qualify him as our captain, not because he is playing Inter or Europe but he has the calmness and ability to make the other players dig themselves in.

  •  Fans did come in their numbers without a doubt and the stadium was almost filled to capacity.
  • Ticketing was almost on point - no need of walking to the gates & monies collection points
  • Ban of bottled substances – we know what is usually in the bottles is not the stuff meant to be in those bottles. They also serve as missiles when fans when they get discontented with play on the field.
  • Fair security – Fair because their presence kept the crowd in check
  • Weather – beyond our control but yes it was nice to have the sun shining on our brows

  • The fans who were to be the 12th man at times kept mum only coming back when the Ugandans cheered along their team. We don’t seem to have a song or chant that unites the fans and no those political songs are so 2007. We should hire the rugby crowd next time.
  • Shall we see reciprocity of sorts from our Kenyan politicians and businessmen? The Ugandans travelled in true sports fans passion and their presence strengthened their team. Mike ‘Sonko’ , Mr. PM anyone?
  • Ticketing – while they insisted on not selling tickets at the venue, no arrangements were made for the visiting team fans. Even the VIP ones were totally sold out and the spaces filled out – disappointing if you paid that slight amount for money.
  • Lack of merchandise – The flags and wraps were good but since we don’t usually know the national colours worn at any particular time, we can’t stock up on the team shirts.
  • Security – Meant to help maintain law and order, they also were the part of the loopholes of people coming in without tickets. We counted over 10 people who ‘sneaked in’ even after we alerted them.
  • Parking- If the stadium is to maintain its international status; the Stadia Management Board must find some better space of parking for fans. International standards demand that only team vehicles, ambulances and fire engines and security vehicles should be anywhere close to the ground. Seeing the loads of buses too close to the stadium was a major concern. Thank God the score was as it was, Lord have mercy had Uganda won the game.
  • Technical expertise – the technical bench at times looked like they were waiting for reactions from the fans. Still on the same, please get a new captain, the current one didn’t seem to rally the players up even when the game was getting out of reach.
  • TV/Media Rights - the circus is truly NOT out of town when it comes to Football Kenya Limited and on Saturday they ensured that no media house screened the game thanks to the greed in selling the media rights. Our own media houses are not without blame for imagining that they can wait till the last minute to make a compromise bid. We hope both parties learned and moreso the Football Kenya who's term is really living on borrowed time. 
Now that we have made life difficult for ourselves in qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, the rest of group games we MUST WIN (almost impossible) given we have an away game in Angola and another in Uganda- Kampala. Back to square one!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Motorsport: FIA President to make a day visit to Kenya - Return the Safari Rally to WRC

According to media reports,  Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) President Jean Todt is making a 1-day visit to the country. Seeing as we had in a previous post, the Kenya Motorsport Federation which seeks to build rallying as a sport in the country, shall hope to pitch the idea of a return of the Safari Rally back to the World Rally Championship circuit.
It's may seem like an easy call since the President himself is pushing for a 12-Rally calendar ( from the current 13) where rallies are proposed to go beyond the 12-hour day sessions that have been the standard nowadays. Developments are in place to have the rally cars fitted with devices to help with rallying at night.
There is also the sponsorship proposition that Rally organisers have to foot. This usually runs into 100s of millions which the host country's organisers are supposed to guarantee.The WRC -with its partners can then add the event to the calendar.
Mr. Todt  we make a passion appeal for the Safari Rally to make its comeback to the circuit and continue being Africa's jewel in rallying ( we lost this and the Paris-Dakar Rally too...). Welcome to Kenya though!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Breaking News : Kenya wins her 1st Swimming Gold medal ever in Commonwealth Games

Contrary to our predictions, Kenya's swimming sensation did the country proud by winning Kenya's first gold medal in the pool by touching the wall first in the 50m butterfly. Congratulations for this and we shall keep our hopes alive for a fair medal tally this year!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Africa Cup of Nations 2012 Qualification - Decisive Clash for Kenya

After the usual circus that is Kenyan national football, this weekend we welcome our neighbours Uganda who are riding high on their chances after beating Angola in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualification ties. With the fixture looking all more important for Kenya it is being rumoured that none other than the Head of State Pres Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is expected to grace the match - to show allegiance and support to his side.

With the countries currently enjoying a hot-cold relationship with the rather peculiar controversy of 'some rock' on Lake Victoria and the renditions of Kenyan Muslim human rights over the Kampala bombings in July 2010, the temperatures are rising by the day. Also controversial is the fact that Kenya has changed tacticians once again bringing back Mr. Jacob 'Ghost' Mulee who though we respect his work might just end up as his predecessor Twahir Muhiddin.
Group J has Angola and Guinea-Bissau as the other teams. Let's see what the game holds for us;

- Home ground - Being played before the home fans who have been streaming back to the stadiums to watch the local teams, there is bound to be overwhelming support for the Harambee Stars. What is lacking is the right 'hype' to fill the stadium and promote the fixture. By asking the top Government offficials, Mr Titus Kasuve is not enough.
- Professionals - Having the Oliechs and Marigas on the team who have been enjoying playing time on their respective European leagues is also a boon to the team. This though needs to translate to goals with at least 3 looking to 'charge' the team and fans to cloud 9.

- Nyayo National Stadium capacity - while it will be played at this ground, the capacity of the ground is limited to a little over 30,000 and any more than that is a crisis in waiting. We know what happens when the crowd is larger and passions up there. We can't afford to be banned hosting future games on the grounds not now not ever!
- Team spirit- Losing to the minnows of the group dropped the team morale to a new low and there were media reports of team disunity. We also question the coach's choice of Dennis Oliech ( all respects to him as a player). You need a more unifying factor in the team.
- Uganda's flying start - Beating Angola who hosted the last Cup of Nations and were in the 2006 World Cup is no mean feat. The Ugandans have less than 5 players playing in the European leagues so they have something else inspiring their play.
- Consistency on the technical bench - if we have to win future games, there has to be some consistency on who sits on the technical bench. (We're made to understand they appointed an assistant coach who's currently in Europe studying, pray the head coach doesn't get red-carded anytime soon....). If the FKL officials or whoever is in charge wants to do the country a favour, get the right people for the job or at least give them ample time to prove themselves. Create the right working environment and please get some contracts done and no playing with allowances or other financial obligations. You have more than enough funds from FIFA to bankroll this.

Our Uganda brothers are really excited about this fixture as you can see here and yes let's keep it on the pitch (as written by Daily Monitor's Mark Ssali) Come 9th October and let's see the boys put on a good show and get 2012 preparations back on the road. Haraaambeee !

Tribute to Eric Cecil 'Bwana Safari' - 1920 -2010

Salute to the man who together with Neil Vincent are rumoured to have founded the Safari Rally. Initially christened the Coronation Rally as part of paying tribute to Her Majesty-Queen Elizabeth for being crowned in Kenya while on safari with her husband Prince Philip; the rally eventually became known as the 'toughest race between man and machine'. The East Africa Safari Rally covered the 3 countries - Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda - till the 1970s when the strained relations between the 3 countries restricted the rally to just Kenya
The Rally became one of the highlights of the World Rally Championship until 2002 when the organisers decided to throw it out of the circuit on the excuse of safety and logistical issues. 'Sir' Eric Cecil did come back again and thought of the idea of covering the original 3 countries in cars built for the former glory days. This Rally was started to mark the 50th anniversary of the original rally and continues to this day and attracts drivers from across the globe albeit on a smaller scale, after every 2 years.
East African Classic Safari Rally - Start Point 2009 Sarova Whitesands

We would urge the motoring world led by to consider application to the World Rally Championship and put this rally where it belongs we remain Africa's pride in the rallying world, thanks to this man's heritage( apparently no Rally from Africa features in the WRC circuit presently). We should consider this hopefully to tie it in with the upcoming Diamond Jubilee of the Queen's Coronation in 2012. 

Rallying News:
Sebastien Loeb won his 7th WRC Driver's Championship over the weekend continuing with his record-breaking spree in the rallying world. He was the first to win 6 titles back-to-back and has now won 60 rallies on the ramp. I guess the one race that he has never won and should really test his mettle is ....guessed right! WRC right this wrong please!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Commonwealth Games 2010 : Kenya's Medal Hopes

2 days to go; we shall look at what medal hopes Kenya has hoping to work some magic and join the Commonwealth nations in throwing a great party in New Delhi. Much work has been done by the Indian authorities trying to get some reprieve from the hostile media coverage and even gotten fair endorsement from the IOC supremo Jacques Rogge. 
We have also had our reservations but let's give our Asian brothers the benefit of doubt to put out something memorable.What chances do we have of beating the 2006 medal haul of 6 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze medals? Here's our take (DISCLAIMER: nothing scientific in determining this...);

This is our forte and shall continue being for the longest time. A great team assembled but some withdrawals from the 800m pair of David Rudisha and Janeth Jepkosgei ( and injury to Pamela Jelimo) means the star performers are reduced. There are also a couple of star athletes who gave the Games a miss for one reason or the other.
Ezekiel Kemboi - Kenya's Team Captain & 3000m medal prospect

800m:- (Silver) ; 1500m:-(Gold & Silver) ; 3000m:-(Gold & Silver) ; 5000m:- (Silver) ; 10000m:-(Bronze)
4x400m:- (Bronze) ; Marathon (none)
800m:- (none); 1500m:-(Gold); 5000m (Gold); 10000m (Silver)
Total Count : 4 Gold 5 Silver & 2 Bronze

This is ahead of traditional boxing because for the first time we have real medal prospects in the name of the Dunford ( David & Jason) brothers. Hoping the Australians, Britons and Canadians have a bad day in the temperate conditions of the Asian sub-continent, 1 silver; 1 bronze  (make that 1 gold & 1 silver and a bronze) look like possibilities.

With the team heavily depleted and lacking in technical expertise, we don't foresee any medal hopes here. There might a chance of a Quarter-finalist at best.

Kenya 7s rugby team - courtesy of 
We have a great 7-a-side team playing great rugby and impressing on the IRB Sevens circuit. But when you have such powerhouses as New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Samoa and others such as Wales and England, any medal hopes quickly vanish.The instability drawn from the team's selection and fairly average performance in the IRB 7s 2009-10 season also slow down any progress we would have made. Don't underrate our boys though, at least they will pull one or two upsets. Check out this blog for more analysis on the Kenyan rugby team

While we are represented in at least 6 other disciplines, none of these shall attract any medals and thus in all fairness ends our hopes. Sceptics we maybe but that's what the reality of the team's preparations put us. In total we foresee a total medal haul of 4 Gold, 6 Silver and 3 Bronze. Any bets on this? Sunday 3rd October the Games begin....for updates check the official site here

Stadium Management assures Kenyans of good job being done...

On Wednesday the Sports Stadia Management Board  (SSMB) called media houses and other PR agencies as they sought to reassure Kenyans of the progress being made by the Chinese who are renovating the Kasarani Sports Complex ( aka the rather boring ,Moi International Sports Complex). The works shall cost the Kenyan taxpayer an estimated KShs. 900 million. It is scheduled to reopen mid 2011.
Chinese Contractors from Shengli Engineering Construction Co work at the Kasarani Sports Complex - Image courtesy of Nation Media Group 

The PR officer Rakki Asman was resplendent in a helmet as he took the team around the works being done on Kenya's premiere sporting venue. On paper all these works look great and shall go a long way in helping Kenya's case for hosting major venues. The downside is that we have not developed our own capacity for building such works and worse is that we ran down the grounds making them a pale shadow of themselves in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The Government decision to form the Sports Stadia Management Board in 2003 was a great decision and though they have managed to rescue the decline of 2 of Kenya's biggest stadia, they have not enjoyed much progress with the other grounds across Kenyan towns. A suggestion would be to invite bids for developing these grounds and eventually privatising them since the public corporation seems mired in less capital for infrastructural developments. Another alternative maybe is what the Government has started with Government paper and raise funds through the bond market and award contracts to interested parties; building the grounds before eventually releasing them to local authorities.
Whichever way we look at it, we SERIOUSLY NEED bigger and better grounds for our sports sector to thrive. And to quote Mr. Minister...'take sports as serious business'!

In Related News;
The Sports Stadia Management Board is calling for applications to fill the positions of;

  • Chief Accountant
  • Marketing Officer
  • Assistant Aquatic Stadium Manager (how many of these would we probably have in Kenya???)
  • Human Resource Officer