By GILBERT WANDERA
The Government Wednesday rolled out a red carpet reception for the returning Paralympics team members temporarily bringing business to a near standstill at the busy Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
Echoing sounds of drums and traditional dancers was on hand to welcome the team, which amassed six medals — two gold, two silver and two bronze — to finish in position 40.
Sports Minister Paul Otuoma led a strong government delegation in welcoming the team. Others who turned up at the airport include Presidential contender Raphael Tuju, Commissioner of Sports Gordon Oluoch and James Waweru, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports.
Henry Kirwa, the team’s overall captain defended, the performance of the team in London saying competition was extremely tough.
“We still did well against team’s that had big resources and preparations that we can only dream of,” he said.
Kirwa won a silver medal in the 1,500m and bronze in the 5,000m.
“Some of the athletes we competed against can easily challenge able-bodied sportsmen and as the team captain, I believe we did very well.”
Chairman of the Paralympic Committee of Kenya Jairus Mugalo called for a change in government policy regarding Paralympic sports and the industry in general.
“When I was in London we had a chance to meet with representatives from different governments and were impressed by efforts they have done to promote sports in the country.
“It therefore didn’t come as a shock that they won so many medals in both the Olympic and Paralympic games,” he said.
Mugalo called for an increase in resources and grants to his association so that they can increase the number of disciplines going for major events. Kenya had only track and field events athletes in London.