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Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed with 'Team Cheruiyot' at the Nyayo National Stadium, alongside Athletics Kenya boss Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

coronavirus

Light at the end of the tunnel as Sports Ministry unveils return to sports protocols

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – Though a definite date is yet to be set, there is a ray of hope for sportsmen and women in the country after the Ministry of Sports on Monday morning unveiled guidelines for the protocols that will be used to ease the return of sports following stoppages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed unveiled the guidelines in a virtual meeting that brought together stakeholders and ministry officials.

Stakeholders will now be given seven days to go through the document and give their opinions before a definite date is set for the return of contact and non-contact sporting activities in the country.

“Due to the nature of pandemic it was imperative to take a delicate and diligent process to satisfy the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization (WHO) directives on the same including on public participation. I hope will be able to complete exercise as soon as possible and roll out a sports calendar,” CS Amina said during the meeting.

The Committee was chaired by Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Noor Hassan who remains optimistic that sports will return to the country soon.

“I want to thank the members of the committee for putting in the hard work to ensure that we have these guidelines ready. We have lost a lot of time this year and as you can see the school year has been lost and we don’t want to see the same for sports. We want to pick sports together and keep sports alive in the country,” Hassan stated.

Sports will be rolled out in bits and phases, just as has been witnessed in other countries where there has been resumption. This will include testing for players and officials in the first phase, return to individual training and eventually group training resumption.

Stakeholders in the meeting raised the issue of testing of players, asking the Ministry if it would be possible to waive or lower testing charges due to the costly nature.

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Kenya is preparing for several sporting events for the last bit of the year. In October, the country will host the World Athletics Continental Gold Tour while national football team Harambee Stars is scheduled to face Comoros in home and away Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in November.

The national basketball team is also set to start preparations for the Afrobasket Championship qualifiers which have been scheduled by NBA Africa for November.

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