alexa Mandarins at AK, Nock have outlived their usefulness - Daily Nation

Mandarins at AK, Nock have outlived their usefulness

Sunday August 19 2012


It has been described as the worst performance ever by Team Kenya at the Olympics, and there is consensus that the only way things can be made right is by instituting a commission to inquire into what went wrong.

That, by Kenyan standards, is a laughable proposal because it was crystal-clear even before the Olympics started that there was a major problem, a trilateral communication breakdown which put athletes in the middle of a war of words between Athletics Kenya (AK) and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock).

The two bodies were no doubt talking at cross purposes and behaving like novices in the management of the team that was to represent the country at the Olympics whose opening date was not a surprise.

To write that the mandarins at AK and Nock have outlived their uselessness is an understatement because for years, they have been managing by rote and failure had gone to their heads so much so that they only think about allowances and junkets and nothing of substance that can improve performance.

Rot starts at the top

The uselessness of sports managers in Kenya is not confined to AK and Nock alone. (READ: Coaching to blame for dismal show)

It starts at the top, the Sports Ministry, which is filled with venal straps who perpetuate idiosyncrasies by thinking more about their relations and friends who can go for foreign trips than how the performance of national teams can improve.

Thus, it is pointless to point fingers at the officials of these federations without exposing the honchos at the Sports Ministry who protect them, defend them and help them cover their infractions whenever they are called to account for their misdeeds.

The country’s sports officials are such cheapskates that they feel no shame when they withhold sports kits from the sports personalities for whom the apparel is meant; the same people who are courted by the sportswear manufacturers because they add value to their brands.

These shameless officials are such colourless, little-known, dour-faced, unmarketable twits who, if found donning these renown labels, can even be charged with ‘brand defamation’ considering they can make kit manufacturers pull the plug on the sponsorship deals.

While the world is moving ahead, our sports officials have continuously employed retrogressive antics that hinder the development of sports.

If anything, all of them should be the subject of commissions of inquiries. Unless the much-touted probe starts at the top, the Sports Ministry, it will be a waste of time and money because the panel will be filled with those who can protect vested interests.