Last Thursday, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) General Manager for Human Resource and Administration, Daniel Ogutu, hinted at a possible partnership between KPA and players in the maritime industry for shared financial responsibility in the management of the parastatal’s sports.
Ogutu was on the panel at NTV’s ‘Nation Leadership Forum’ where he also announced that KPA plans to cushion its sportsmen and women by ensuring that a sports policy developed is implemented and players given contracts.
Thursday’s panel, which was moderated by NTV sports anchor Idah Waringa, also featured Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and US-based former Kenya basketball international Peter Kiganya.
“Much as the business has been low during this coronavirus pandemic, we as KPA have not wavered in supporting our sportsmen and women by ensuring that Bandari Football Club get their salaries every month without fail, and by cushioning our basketball and volleyball teams with a token of Sh80,000 per player covering the period of between March to June, and which we must continue giving for many more months as long as Covid-19 continues to be with us,” Ogutu said.
KPA sports policy
As an ardent sportsman myself, I must say this was the best news to ever have come from Kenya Ports Authority in over a decade, because sports is a big industry which, apart from being a huge income earner to individuals, contributes a lot to the good health as it, inter alia, boosts one’s immunity.
Marathon great Eliud Kipchoge, speaking at sports awards in Mombasa earlier this year, correctly put it that he was looking forward to a time when sports will be a culture in Kenya where every family will be going out to jog.
With the KPA sports policy in mind, it will, therefore, make more sense that the corporation invites other maritime players, just like they did in fighting the coronavirus, to help financially and help the corporation move away from shouldering the heavy responsibility single-handedly.
Such partnerships allow better cash flow for the ports sports programmes. With guaranteed cash, Bandari FC and other KPA teams will be stronger as they would then afford to buy talented players to boost their existing resources.
KPA will also to give their players the much-needed exposure and run their sports teams as serious businesses that can also boost their bank balances through player trade.
It was very painful when KPA basketball teams failed to travel for international assignments last year due to lack of funds, but with that will now be a thing of the past if such partnerships are forged.