By Erick Ochieng’

The Government rewarded athletes who won medals in the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics.

President Kibaki, who presided over the ceremony at the State House in Nairobi, presented Sh300, 000 to bronze medallists, Sh500, 000 to silver medallists, and Sh750, 000 to gold medallists.

Six teams including the Olympics, Paralympics (London) Deaflympics (Canada), Special Olympics (South Africa and Puerto Rico), Golf (Burundi) and Motocross (Uganda) were also present to return their flags from the various competitions that they participated in 2012.

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Rugby Sevens team, currently participating in the HSBC series, were the only team that President ahead of their Las Vegas, US, leg this weekend.

A light moment ensued between the Head of State and Olympics 3,000m steeple chase champion, Ezekiel Kemboi who ‘loaned’ the President his Olympic medal for a few minutes just to have a feel of being an Olympic champion.

“Thank you very much, you really deserved it,” Kibaki told Kemboi, who had a special photo session with the President together with Team Kenya captain for London Olympics, David Rudisha.

“I could have given the president my medal forever.  But Olympics rules don’t allow that,” said Kemboi.

Meanwhile, the President hailed the new Sport Act, saying it will help revolutionise sports management.

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He has directed the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to embark on its implementation immediately.

The Sport Act was enacted this month following Government Sports Policy through Sessional Paper Number 3 on Sports Development to guide the growth and development of Sports in the country.

Kibaki has said when the Act is fully implemented, it will facilitate proper management of sports within federations, facilities and events.

The President further reiterated that the Act, if well implemented, will lay the foundation for the development of sports and youth development programmes.

The Ministry of Sports was also challenged by the Head of State to put up structures that will ensure good management of sports resources, both human and financial.

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“Kenya has a big population of young men and women who are talented in various sports. We must create the environment through which development of their talents is possible.

“Indeed, it is our responsibility to ensure that these young people are able to exploit their talents to world class standards,” said Kibaki yesterday at State House in Nairobi where he presided over the cash award ceremony and received the flags from various federations that took part in international championships last year.

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