NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 4 – Building sustainable sports structures anywhere and at any time, is not for the faint-hearted.
It entails concerted efforts from stakeholders and doing so in a large and costly manner in a country like Kenya which struggles with matters corporate funding, amplifies that degree of difficulty the sporting fraternity has to contend with year in year out.
Humphrey Mugendi, the Men Division two side Mustang basketball coach, who is also Kciti basketball coach cum consultant, believes he fits the bill in this respect.
He has a burning desire to steer the game of basketball to desirable heights should his dream for the Kenya Basketball Federation presidency come to fruition.
And then, for Mugendi, there is the facet to do so right in the middle of a global pandemic.
Mugendi who spoke to Capital FM Sport says he is going for the top seat as part of an ambitious plan to spearhead the sport to the greater heights.
“I’m running for the KBF seat not because I have any beef with anyone. It’s because politics is politics and if you think you can do anything better than your predecessor, then you just go for it. I keep on saying that in sports you must think business. If given the opportunity to lead basketball, I would love to run it like a business,” he vowed.
“Now we are taking about COVID-19. The regulations are too tough, and we don’t have the funding. Right now, if you go to our Federation account it’s probably negative. This is why corporate sponsorship is key,” Mugendi added.
Asked how he’ll execute his goal if handed the chance, Mugendi narrated; “I don’t want to say I will make it professional, but semi pro is achievable. If you have over 20 clubs in the top tier league, then the plan would be to make about 300 players earn a living from basketball. In our AGM last year, it emerged that our biggest income generation activity was gate collection… I can’t remember exactly what’s in our account, but it was really wanting.”
Mugendi underscores the fact that sport is progressive unlike politics.
“It’s not like politics where you will judge the performance in the first 100 days. With the help of stakeholders, we will come up with a framework to engage the corporate world. Broadcast will also be a key facet that we will use to market the sport. The current office signed a deal with a local broadcast which I think wasn’t good enough. We needed to review terms of that broadcast contract. All in all, the essence is to look at the business end of sport just like in the USA.”
Mugendi wants to challenge for the seat against…….
“The 2020 season is as good as gone. And I think it won’t be appropriate to have elections on zoom. It hasn’t worked in Kenya
People says they trust their phones with money and not the vote.”
And what’s Mugendi’s vision for the sport? “As KBF we want to create a brand you can count on and one which is appealing to corporates. We need to engage the stakeholders more. People who understand the sport of basketball so we can create that great brand.”
Mugendi says his dream would not come to fruition without transparency and accountability.
“When you bring in the issue of accountability, what rings in one’s mind is money. It’s not only money issues, but also how accountable and transparent you can be in handling Federation matters.
I haven’t been in basketball office before so I believe I will come in with a whole lot of fresh ideas.”