State funding will not cover all athletes, says Tuwei

Wednesday May 13 2020
By GEOFFREY ANENE

Not every athlete will benefit from State funding meant to cushion sportsmen and women from the effects of Covid-19 virus, Sports Fund chairman Jackson Tuwei has warned.

On April 6, during his address to the nation, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the Ministry of Sports Culture and Arts through the Sports, Arts, and Social Development Fund to avail Sh100 million to support artists, actors and musicians during the period of the pandemic.

While thanking the government for putting aside Sh100 million to benefit vulnerable athletes from the effects of coronavirus pandemic, Tuwei has cautioned athletes that not everyone will benefit from the funds.

“We thank the government for giving the entertainment industry Sh100 million to cushion them from the effects of this virus. Every sector needs help and we thank the Sports Ministry for coming up with such an initiative for sportspeople,” Tuwei told Nation Sport on Sunday.

Sports activities remain suspended locally and internationally due to the killer Covid-19 disease, which has left more than 160,000 people dead globally, including 14 people in Kenya.

Many people have also been rendered jobless, including those who get their daily bread from sports.

Tuwei, who doubles up as Athletics Kenya President, told those who depend on sports for a living to accept the little they will get and urged those who do not benefit from the funds not to despair.

“As Athletics Kenya, we have sent a list of vulnerable athletes to the ministry for consideration. Every federation has submitted a list of sportspeople through their respective liaison officers. Not everybody will get the relief fund, so those who get the funds and those who do not should understand,” said Tuwei.

Other federations have also submitted lists of athletes for consideration. The Kenya Volleyball Federation has submitted a list of seven people for consideration, while Kenya Rugby Union has handed over more than 100 names to the Sports Ministry.

Tennis Kenya has submitted a list of more than 50 people.

Speaking just days after 2017 London Marathon winner Daniel Wanjiru was suspended for violating anti-doping rules, Tuwei urged athletes to avoid the temptation to engage in doping.

“We cannot afford to keep quiet on this. Every Kenyan, including the media, should advise our athletes to stay away from doping. The athletes should have discipline to follow anti-doping rules, including providing their whereabouts details.”