Friday, 15 April 2011

Kenyan Marathoners to Retrace their steps ???

The last week saw the Kenyan and indeed the athletics world treated to some shocking news. The organisers of the Utrecht Marathon have decided to discourage Kenyan marathoners from participating by granting prize money of a measly € 100 (approx. $144). Compare this with the prize money of € 100,000 promised to the local Dutch runners winning the race.
Illustration courtesy of Jason Atwood

If there has ever been discrimination of any kind , this is an example right there! It should be condemned from the highest of places and wonder what the IAAF and Athletics Kenya have to say about this.
Given the domination of Kenyan athletes in major marathons across Europe with the country contributing at least 85-90% wins over any given year, this is a real disgrace to the very essence of a sport. If you cannot make a sport competitive by getting the athletes or participants to train harder, seek smarter ways to victory or even 'import talent', live with the fact that there will always be a winner who might not always tickle your fancy.
As for Kenyan marathoners and the athletics fraternity in Kenya, it seems your success has not always left the best of impressions in most race organisers in Europe and other parts of the world. The World Marathon Majors series starts this weekend with the first marathon on card being the London Marathon  on 17th April followed by Boston Marathon the 18th April before taking a break and continuing in September at the Berlin Marathon.
Let this announcement serve as ample motivation to win and win comprehensively for any Kenyan participant. We shall be proudly singing with you the victory song and enjoy playing that our national anthem once again!

Brand Kenya had made one of its major country branding strategies to focus on marketing the country through the major marathons across the world. They are currently setting up shop at Boston along RunWithKenyans which is seeking to partner along the same lines and create linkages between US marathoners and the Kenyan market.
Their work is now really cut out with such careless pronouncements from our European brothers.

Impala Floodlit Finals - KCB v/s Strathmore

The last 2 weekends have seen some rugby action at the Impala Grounds - home to one of Kenya's top rugby side Impala RFC. The action has been slightly tempered given that the main rugby 2010-11 season is coming to a wrap ( save for the Bamburi Super Series).
Last weekend semi-finals for the main tournament saw some upsets with Strathmore roping Mwamba in overtime while KCB made easy meal of hosts Impala. This represents a great outing for both finalists given their continued rise in the Kenyan rugby scene. For the former Strathmore with the exception of winning in the 7s circuit last season, this is a major upset and will stamp their presence. A triumph for them would be true icing for the college sides who operate under very tight schedules given the University calendar which comes first for most players.
KCB on the other hand is out to avenge for the near misses in the Enterprise and if the intent shown in the semi-final is anything to go by they start as favourites for the exciting action under floodlights. Tomorrow is a date and we shall keep you posted. You can follow us on Twitter @sportskenya OR check the following for updates @maikwambo @kenyarugby247 and check for the hash-tag #ImpalaFloodies OR #ImpalaFloodlit

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Breaking News - Gor Mahia Finally lands Sponsorship

Thanks to the social media platforms and my able brother @philipogola for this. Gor Mahia has finally broken the duck since the revamped KPL and secured sponsorship for the next two seasons. Reports coming through indicate the team has secured Tuzo ( manufactured by SpinKnit Dairy -which was bought out by Brookside a few years ago). Figures reported are KShs. 38 million but we shall give you the full details as and when confirmed.  Shirt sponsorship. This is the biggest of its kind in the game and promises an interesting season.

SpinKnit Dairy merged Brookside Milk and completed the merger last year. Brookside sponsors another KPL side Thika United and now with this sponsorship makes them the biggest corporate investor in the sport. Analysts say the Gor sponsorship is meant to build the brand Tuzo which has been on the decline in the last few months with the glut of milk processing firms in the country.
Whatever is said, the sponsorship is hoped to build the club which has long been a sponsor's dilemma with the largest following in the country but also some of the most passionate fans & sometimes indisciplined fans.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Volleyball...can the Girls be true Queens now?

The continental volleyball scene is slowly becoming Kenya's mainstay. The club level shows this as the case but let's not be too happy for the time being. We have seen this before, our girls doing well on the continental platform but being dismal at the international engagements. As continental champs, the Confederation Africaine de Volleyball, CAVB needs to get its work cut out and send the team(s) for the necessary training camps of course with the national volleyball body working in close ties with them.
It would be fair for the continent to come out and put a better performance in the Women's World Club Championships to be held in Qatar later this year. 5th out of 6 team is not a respectable position and though ambitious 3rd place is a possibility.
Let's work towards that please Kenya Volleyball Federation and make the best for the continent as we have done in other sports. Well played though for Kenya Prisons winning the African club championships & Kenya Pipeline mustering a 2nd place too !