Thursday, December 6, 2012

Long-awaited Sports Act coming

By AYUMBA AYODI [email protected]

Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba intends to table the eagerly-awaited Team Kenya 2012 London Olympics report in Parliament next week.

At the same time, the minister reiterated his commitment to giving the Kenyan sporting fraternity the long-awaited Sports Act before the term of the 10th Parliament elapses. Namwamba said that the country needed to know the truth behind Team Kenya’s poor showing at the London Olympics, adding that delaying the report was tantamount to doing injustice to tax payers.

Namwamba’s predecessor, Paul Otuoma, trashed the first London 2012 report presented by the National Olympics Committee-Kenya in October, saying it “didn’t address the real issues” that resulted in the dismal show yet the country presented what was considered the best ever squad at the Summer Games.

Namwamba was speaking at a colourful ceremony hosted by Nation Media Group on Wednesday evening in honour of Nation Sports Editor Elias Makori who won the IAAF World Journalist of the Year award during the IAAF Gala in Barcelona a fortnight ago.

Long distance runners

Makori became the first African journalist to be accorded that distinction.

From a projected haul of 11 gold medals, Kenya settled for only 2 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze medals from the London Olympic Games.

“Making this report public will not be aimed at victimising anyone but laying the ground work on what needs to be done to improve our performance at Rio 2016.

“ I’m committing myself to ensuring that the report will be brought to Parliament and the Sports Bill is passed before the 10th parliament lapses,” said the minister, who was accompanied by his deputy Kabando wa Kabando.

Also present were renowned long distance runners Lorna Kiplagat, Tegla Loroupe, former national cricket skipper Asif Karim and Cricket Kenya chairperson Jackie Janmohamed

Namwamba regretted that recommendations made in 2009 by the late Sports Permanent Secretary, Kinuthia Murugu following the 2008 Beijing Games, where Kenya hauled 6 medals, were ignored as Team Kenya prepared for London.

Four nominated journalists

Namwamba said he will ensure the recommendations in London report are used as a guide towards the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. “We should not be allowing ourselves to forget taking action after coming up with remedies,” he said.

Namwamba said Makori’s achievement was historical by virtue of being the first journalist on the continent to be bestowed with the award.

“It was a joy to read his articles that were spiced with a sense of humour and for sure it must be a joy to work with you,” said Namwamba. “It shows how sports can transform the nation.”

Nation Media Group’s chief executive officer, Linus Gitahi, said: “Makori went hunting and came back with a kill. You have always upheld your virtues and we congratulate and celebrate you for that.”

Makori was among four journalists nominated for the award in the last two years with Frenchman Alain Billouin winning the 2011 award.

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