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Kenyan sports legends root for Welfare Body

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Joe Kadenge reminisces his old days playing football with a polythene ball, bare foot as he started his career.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6 – Legendary athletes and administrators have proposed for the formation of a welfare body for retired sports personalities.

The proposals were made by former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) vice chairman Sammy Sholei, 1987 All Africa Games 400m hurdles silver medallist Rose Tata Muya and Cricket Kenya president Jackie Janmohamed.

They said short term solutions of contributing money towards a sports personality in dire needs was not viable and inconsequential.

The remarks were made during a fundraiser in aid of the legendary footballer Joe Kadenge medical bills at Railways Club.

“For how long shall we be organising harambees for our Kenyan sports personalities who number in thousands? Members of the public will get disgusted as much as they are touched with their plight. Therefore there is need of coming with a long term and sustainable initiative to avert this kind of scenario,” Shollei said.

They said formation of the welfare group will address the problems facing most of them who are currently living in abject poverty.

They stated that active sports men and women can start contributing towards the welfare fund which will act as their pension once they retire.

Janmohammed blamed most of the active sports personalities for being opposed to a pension savings scheme, Sacco or life and medical insurance.

“When you ask most of them to have their dues deducted for a welfare pension scheme or insurance cover they refuse and demand to be given their sums of money in full and only end up struggling in life upon retirement because they don’t have any savings anywhere,” she said.

They urged active sports personalities to invest their earnings to cushion them financially upon retirement from active sports participation.

“The life and value of a sports personality in active participation of sports is short where mostly lasts upto around 30 years of age so they should start preparing early within that short time as fast as possible,” they cautioned.

The fundraiser realised Sh800, 000 with Janmohammed donating Sh100, 000, FKF president Nick Mwendwa (Sh100, 000), Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) secretary general Francis Atwoli Sh300, 000 among others.

Kadenge is expected to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in Nairobi on Sunday.

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