NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 11 – National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) chief, Paul Tergat has called on the leadership of the Kenya Badminton Federation to sort out their challenges and concentrate on building the sport.
Tergat was speaking on Friday after issuing four competition and four training mats to the Kenya Badminton team at Arya Samaj Sports Hall in an event attended by the federation’s officials Peter Muchiri and John Mburu.
Badminton has been one of the sports that has had great challenges in preparing athletes in the run up to major games.
“You do not need to wait longer, because the athletes are the ones that suffer in the end from an unstable leadership. A formidable leadership team is important to run the sport forward,” Tergat said.
“One of the main challenges and recommendations from the players and team managers after the 2019 Africa Games, was provision of these mats in the country. In Africa Games reports the team mentioned that they had been training on surfaces they are not familiar to. The president is therefore presenting these mats to give the players the greatest opportunity to compete when they go international, having trained with the international standards of equipment,” NOC-K Ag. Secretary, General Francis Mutuku stated.
“Since this Executive came into office, we have been given several challenges by different federations, badminton being one of them. The executive made the decision to purchase these mats for the sole purpose of helping prepare athletes to their best in the upcoming Games,” added Tergat.
“Olympics and Commonwealth Games are around the corner. We want to make sure that players are at the centre of everything we are doing. We believe badminton is one sport that we can nurture and grow, to commendable ranks. Not just to participate but to medal. NOC-K is trying to take more players to the Games in more disciplines than the traditional ones,” the NOC-K boss affirmed.
Badminton Kenya president, Peter Muchiri, painted the picture of the status of the sport.
“This is the first time in history that the federation is getting competition and training mats in the country. We have been playing and preparing national teams on concrete floors. We have been training in low standards and playing in high caliber competitions. The vision of the federation is to move from participation to medal contenders in major games.”
The top badminton player in the country Mercy Mwethya is in the qualification pathway for the Olympics.
Mwethya, who is a beneficiary of an Olympic Scholarship, has been assisted in training and participation in tournaments.
The qualifying tournaments have been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and will hopefully pick up soon.
The badminton mats have been made available in the country with the collaboration of World Badminton Federation and Confederation of Badminton Africa.