The government has initiated plans to launch a National Sports Day to be observed as a national holiday.
Discussions are being held and already, a team of experts has held a retreat in Naivasha to fine-tune the idea that has received positive responses from the private sector and other potential sponsors.
Last December, various stakeholders, including the ministries of sports, education, health and tourism, private sector players, journalists and university lecturers met in Nairobi to discuss the idea.
The formulation of a National Sports Day is being supported by, among others, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
Leading industrialist Manu Chandaria, chairman of the Chandaria Group, was also part of the December forum in Nairobi.
The experts at the Naivasha Retreat were led by Dan Omino of Corplan Consultants, National Sports Academy officials and representatives from the Kenya National Sports Council and Sports ministry.
“The main objectives of observing a National Sports Day include showcasing the country as a tourist, sports and recreation destination of choice, promoting a healthy and peaceful society through sports participation and creating a feeling of collective national action and to promote national cohesion,” a Cabinet Memo being drafted by the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts and seen by Nation Sport reads.
The memo is scheduled to be presented at the next Cabinet meeting for discussion and, possibly, adoption.
The Sports ministry in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, through the Kenya Academy of Sports will spearhead the organisation of the National Sports Day.
“A committee involving other stakeholders and line ministries will be constituted and be tasked with consolidating activities for the Sports Day,” the memo adds.
A week ago, key players in the sports sector along with a team of consultants met at the Enashipai Spa and Resort in Naivasha to whip the proposal into action.
“The National Sports day will also help in the reduction of illnesses and contribute towards improving our GDP,” Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario said at the Naivasha seminar in a speech read on his behalf by the Registrar of Sports Rose Wasike.
“The Sports Academy will also ensure that talented youths are appreciated and once the National Sports Day is actualised, the Sports Academy will be further strengthened,” Wario added.
Qatar, Canada and Malaysia are some of the countries that recently adopted the National Sports Day concept with India and Japan having introduced similar days much earlier.
The Kenya National Sports Day is expected to have grassroots activities culminating in national wellness and fitness activities.