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KORIR: Sports action in Kenya should be resumed but with right caution

Wednesday June 24 2020
lemotit_pix

From Left: Iscah Chelangat, Magdalene Cherono and Triza Cherotich from Lemotit Athletics Club before they received their food donations and cash at the World Under-20 camp on June 15, 2020. PHOTO | COURTESY |

By BARNABA KORIR

Is it about time we returned to action in as far as sports is concerned?

Not that we have resolved our Covid-19 problems but because we have a responsibility to start steering the wheels to normalcy.

Europe, which was worst hit by the virus pandemic, has seen sports back in  action with activities all over.

Apart from Belgium and France where the national leagues were ended due to the coronavirus pandemic, football action has resumed in other major leagues including those of England, Spain and Germany, albeit without fans. 

As Kenyans, we also need to take the first step because it looks like coronavirus will be here for a while longer. 

We need to start from somewhere as we observe government’s health restrictions.

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Considering the number of masses involved in the sports industry, this “wait and see” situation is bound to take us in the wrong direction.

Test matches or events are key if we are to jump-start the sector that has driven most sportsmen and women into doing menial jobs to survive.

As they say, we will never know how the tide is unless we try, hence the reason why we need to roll up our sleeves and get back to work.

My recent tours across the country to cushion the under-20 athletes with some food and little cash has revealed high stress levels among the athletes.

These are people who had their programmes all set and confirmed, and most of them had invested a lot in training.

However, the fact that they woke up one day only to find all that cancelled has no doubt taken a toll on their mental health. 

One thing I know is that the athletes need all the help they can get because they no longer know what to do. In fact, the worst hit are the youths who we risk losing to social vices if we don’t handle the issue properly. 

For them, it is not just enough to say sit at home; we need to guide them properly.

The girls are even more vulnerable going by the recent statistics on teenage pregnancies.

Even in the wake of coronavirus, I believe they will be safe and busy if we can partially open up the sports sector.

Waking up everyday and not knowing what the future holds is no doubt a time bomb in the waiting. We have been under lockdown now for over three months and the situation does seem to be changing. Why then can’t we try new things and see how we progress. 

We have dwelt a lot on negativity and it’s about that time we ventured into the world of positivity by trying the normal stuff. 

How about aping our European counterparts by jump-starting sports like any other sector. Food for thought! 

Korir is the chairman of Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch. [email protected]

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