On card was the (un)official handing back of flags handed to the team captains by the Head of State. The more significant part was the handing out of bonuses which had been promised to medal winners of these events.
This has been a laudable feat by the GoK since they initiated this a few years ago. Mr. Pres, though went on to make 'pronouncements' where we shall put them (GoK) into task;
- 47 stadiums - this one is quite ambitious and laughable to say the least. While we seek to develop sports development at the lower levels, this is one area we have not been successful. Look at the existing infrastructure and it paints a sorry state. We do not have proper steps to develop and maintain grounds, sporting clubs and related facilities. We have also not done a good job to providing incentive to private entrepreneurs to encourage investment in the same. We have not safeguarded what would be some major sporting grounds such as has been seen in Nakuru's Afraha stadium, Nyeri's Ruringu stadium, to name but a few.
- Bidding and Hosting International events - in the last 20 years we have managed to host some good international events. But if you look carefully, EXCEPT for the All-Africa Games in 1987, the rest have been more or less single discipline events; the most recent Africa Athletics Championships last year in August. Most of these have also been for less than a week going if we look at time spent within our borders. That informs our lack of facilities for hosting fairly large teams of participants. Sample this, if we bid for the next Commonwealth Games, where would you host the contingents of over 40 countries? Can our infrastructure withstand added pressures of the visitors ( traffic especially)?
- Sports Lottery - this is another of the proposed developments which is included in the work-in-progress, yet-to-be-tabled Sports Bill. Another noble idea that seeks to raise funds for competing teams to major sports events such as the Olympic Games. We have a big one in 2012 in London ( which also coincides with the Queen of England's Diamond Jubilee...see the significance?). Given Kenyans' love for lottery and such like activities, this is a process that needs to be done with proper audits and openness to avoid the fraud that plagues such processes. It would become another major flop if any undue influence and inconsistencies are detected.
- Sports Fund - though it might seem unrelated, I would wish to add this to your plate for consideration. Why? Well we have seen many a sporting talent blossom in their short-stints or even in their fairly modest careers only to fall into hard times once they are in retirement. Some have fallen off to the need of rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol abuse. Well such a Fund would be set aside to lump an athlete's part-winnings and bonuses almost like the retirement funds and one can access these in their later lives. It will go a long way in inculcating a culture of saving in our current generation which is out to spend every single cent in sight.
Over to you, GoK!