NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27-President Uhuru Kenyatta has fired warning shots to sports federations accused of mismanaging athletes, saying they should style up and ensure that all Kenyan sportsmen and women are well taken care of.
The President said sports federations have a mandate to ensure Kenyan teams are well trained, prepared and catered for financially even as they go out to represent the country in various fields.
“Every time we agree on what needs to be done should be fulfilled. Am perturbed that this has not been happening,” President Kenyatta said.
This comes in the wake of complains from athletes that are headed to the Commonwealth Games in Australia over lack of proper kitting and non-payment of allowances which brought a near go-slow to training, less than two weeks to the games.
The head of state has said the country has an obligation to honour its sportsmen and women who raise the country’s flag high.
He said sports federations, including the Athletic Kenya, Kenya Golf Union, Kenya Football Kenya Federation, Kenya Rugby Union, Cricket Kenya and Kenya Hockey, had to style up and ensure that they fulfil their mandate.
“We don’t take for granted that it takes a lot to be where you are. It takes a lot of effort to participate in the variety of international competitions,” said the President.
President Kenyatta told the team that whatever the Government has allocated in terms of allowances and rewards is their entitlement and they should not shy away from demanding them from federations.
“There are things we agreed that need to be done for the rugby team, golf teams and other sportsmen and women, as we demand that they meet our expectations we also should do our part,” said President Kenyatta.
Kenyatta spoke on Tuesday morning at State House, Nairobi, as he handed the team headed to Gold Coast, Australia the flag.
The team will be skippered by World 1500m champion Elijah Manangoi. The Kenya Police Service coincidentally also happens to serve in the President’s elite VIP protection unit.
Meanwhile, speaking during the hand-over ceremony, Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa assured the sportsmen and women of his commitment to uplifting their standards as well as taking care of their wellbeing.
“I know our athletes have been undergoing a lot of frustrations. This will no longer happen under my watch,” he assured the President and the team.
The Commonwealth games will run from April 4th to 15th in Gold Coast, Australia. The Kenyan team of 300 includes the Para-athletes team.
–Additional information courtesy PSCU