Deaflympics: Team Kenya challenged to surpass medal haul in Brazil

Team Kenya Deaflympics media relations and mental health awareness conference for the Kenya deaflympics and the media at The Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. Thursday April 7, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Team Kenya for the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil has started stepping up training at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi.

The contingent comprised of athletics, football, handball, basketball and golf participants was on Thursday taken through media relations to improve their interactions on and off the pitch.

They were advised to have cordial relations with the media fraternity by creating a positive rapport,

building trust and telling their stories elaborately in interviews and on their various social media platforms.

They were taken through the journey of handling successes and failures which will be the two outcomes of their participation in Brazil.

The players are set to go through mental awareness program on Friday to be conducted by the Chiromo Hospital Group.

The mental awareness is in recognition of the fact that there's widespread mental illness within the athletics fraternity.

At the same time, the players have been challenged to work hard to surpass the 13 medal mark ( 4 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze) the country registered in the last edition of the global games in Turkey in 2017.

"Kenya is the home of champions, we must live by this mantra when we go to Brazil," Josephine Onunga, Secretary Administration, Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage State Department for Sports, reiterated.

Onunga, who opened the two day workshop, motivated and encouraged the athletes to take advantage of the high profile Kasarani facilities to up their game before they depart for the games.

"Kindly train well, show the rest of the world that Kenya is a powerhouse in Africa," Onunga said.

"Practice, focus on your game, be disciplined.

"Let's not lose our sights on the medals at any given time.

"As a government, we want to celebrate you.

"We want to give you a red carpet reception when you jet in with your medals from Brazil," she added.

Onunga's sentiments were echoed by Josephta Mukobe, the Principal Secretary, State Department of Culture who urged the athletes to take their training seriously ahead of the games.

"Discipline is mandatory for your success, kindly respect the rules of the game and don't forget our aim in Brazil which is to win medals," Mukobe said.

Team Kenya will be in training at Kasarani for 23 days after which the squad will be whittled down to 136 who will ply trade for the country in Brazil.

Kenya first took part in the Summer Deaflympics in 1997 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Since then, Kenya has bagged a total of 38 medals; 12 Gold, 10 Silver, 16 Bronze.

Kenya was ranked ninth overall out of 97 nations  in the last edition held in Turkey.