Sh 32 million sports academy lying underutilized in Taita-Taveta County

From left: Sagala International Talent Academy Principal Pamfil Mwakio with Board of Management members at the institution yesterday PICTURE 2: Voi MP Jones Mlolwa (second left) stressing a point to other parliamentary committee members for sports, culture and tourism when they inspected Sagala International Talent Academy in Taita-Taveta County yesterday PICTURES BY RENSON MNYAMWEZI/STANDARD
Stadia: Sports institution lacks crucial infrastructure despite millions spent

Tale of under-utilised Sh32m sports facility 

Parliamentary Committee unhappy Taita-Taveta academy lacks fields and coaches to nurture talent.

A multi-million shilling sports academy constructed by the national government 15 years ago to hone skills of talented youth in Taita-Taveta County is lying under-utilised, according to the Sports, Culture and Tourism Parliamentary Committee.

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Sagala International Talent Academy, the only sports institution of its kind in the country was constructed by the Voi Constituency Development Fund (CDF) at more Sh32 million.

A lack of proper curriculum and professional coaches for various sports disciplines threatens to turn the facility into a white elephant.

The Parliamentary Committee for Sports visited the facility on Sunday and was shocked to learn that despite the heavy investment from the government, enrollment at the institution was still low.

The institution opened its doors in 2013 with only 29 students but five years down the line only 171 students (113 boys and 58 girls) had been enrolled.

“This is the only talent school in the country but lacks instructors, infrastructure like playing fields for football, rugby and swimming pool among others,” Voi MP Jones Mlolwa said adding that these defeats the purpose of its establishment.

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The facility is built on a 100-acre land donated by the community also offers music and performing arts.

The institutions Principal Pamfil Mwakio told the MPs the major challenge facing the talent academy is shortage of coaches in various sports disciplines.

“We have requested to the Teachers Service Commission to provide coaches for the institution,” Mwakio said.

 Taita-Taveta Women Representative Lydia Haika said there was need for public private partnership to develop the talent academy.

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“Partnership is the best way to leverage scarce resources from the government,” she said.

The Committee vice chairperson Narok South MP Korei Ole Lemein promised every effort would be done to fund the institution.

Also present were MPs Kubai Iringo (Igembe), Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani) and Christopher Umulele (Luanda). Others were Wanjiku Kibe (Kiambu North), Jeremiah Kimutai, Charles Nguna and Nandi County Women Representative Dr Tecla Tum.

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Parliamentary CommitteeSagala International Talent Academy