The recent death of Aberdeen Shikhoyi in the rugby sport brought to the fore the concerns of sports and the safety or precautions taken for each and his own.
Rugby as one analyst said is a contact sport and as expected, there are bound to be injuries, concussions and at times serious internal injuries incurred while one is on the pitch. Same goes for other sports such as football, basketball and also to a lesser extent volleyball. In any case, most sporting disciplines have one or the other form of contact.
This thus informs the reason why it ought to be a proper consideration for medical and ambulance services for any sporting event, however small. This should go further to not just having medical personnel at these events but also proper training offered to the medical team that accompanies the teams or individuals. It is also imperative to offer First Aid lessons to all team members the logic behind this being, they will be the first to see or notice when a player is down or injured. That moment of the first few seconds or minutes can be a matter of life or death as witnessed in the EPL's Fabrice Muamba's case.
But while these are practised, it is integral that sporting clubs, teams and associations make medical tests compulsory on a regular basis. This should be effected at the start of the season, at regular times during the season and also while the players are on their break. Another practice that still has not taken root in Kenyan sport, is the issue of medical cover.
Insurance companies and health service providers have not quite endeared themselves to most Kenyans but there are baby steps made in the world of sport. This should be increased three-fold since as we have seen, the loss of a life or a player through injury can be quite detrimental to the morale of the remaining players and future stars of a game. Remember how the famous Joe JJ Masiga had to abruptly quit his sporting career, thanks to nagging injuries which if detected and treated maybe would have meant a longer and more fruitful career in football.
Going forward though, stakeholders in sports, insurance and medical practitioners will need to find a way of engaging with each other to see to it that the loss through injury, death of our sports personalities is reduced drastically. It's the least each can do for the good of Kenyan sport!