Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) will appeal a landmark ruling made by the Mombasa High court this past week that scrapped age limits for students participating in its games.
KSSSA Secretary General David Ngugi said the ruling was malicious, not based on facts and bound to affect Kenya’s participation in the East Africa Secondary Schools Games, Africa School Games and even the World School Games.
“We just read of the ruling in newspapers and are waiting to be served before we can officially respond,” Ngugi said.
According to Ngugi, KSSSA have their own constitution and bylaws which they abide by and have a very good reason why they set the age limit and other rules that govern the school games in Kenya.
“This will not and cannot be acceptable because we cannot allow kids to be play with old men and women and expect fair competition,” KSSSA chairman Peter Orero said on Saturday.
All sports federations have strict age categories the world over, Orero adds, ad he says the same must be respected when it comes to the KSSSA rules and regulations.
For contact sports for example, Orero says bone structure and density is definitely an advantage for older players and a disadvantage and extreme danger to younger players.
Furthermore, he says schools will be tempted to ask good players to repeat classes year in year out for “glory” and this was one of the reasons the rule was put in place adding that a majority of sponsors are provided with clear guidelines regarding the age categories expected to participate in their games.
Mombasa High court judge Eric Ogola in his ruling in a case filed by a parent against the KSSSA said a clause in the schools sports body constitution that bars students who are over 19 years of age to participate in school games as discriminatory and unconstitutional.
But the ruling was received with mixed reactions and continues to elicit varied responses.