Kenya’s sporting legends have lauded the new campaigned dubbed ‘Tujiamini’ by betting company SportPesa.
The campaign calls for sportsmen and women, stakeholders, administrators and the public to believe in the individual and collective power of sports to transform society and in turn do more to develop sports in the country.
The launched who was attended by sports fraternity ranging from rugby, athletics, swimming, boxing, football among others said the move will likely to change the tide in the Kenyans sports industry by inspiring young athletes to aim for the world stage in their respectively disciplines, urging stakeholders to do what they must to improve the sports ecosystem and rallying the public to believe in and support sportsmen whenever they are in the field.
Speaking at the event; former Harambee Stars and AFC Leopards great Mickey Weche unlike the past, now they are cooperate bodies supporting the sport.
“During our time, we used to play for the flag and club not money. We used to get paid five hundred shillings for a win and we were thankful. I urge the youngsters taking into sports to work hard and give your best” said Weche popularly known as ‘T9’.
The initiative seeks to maintain sports development as a national agenda for all stakeholders and leaders in a bid to leverage the potential of strategic Public Private Partnerships to ensure that we grow Kenya’s sports to befit global standards.
“We need more companies, to join such campaign, this noble initiative. Sports is a huge industry if well supported well private and government will see a huge growth and creation of employment among the youth” said Titus Mulama, the former Mathare United and Sofapaka FC.
Some notable sports personally who attended the launch in Nairobi includeds the legendary Safari Rally driver Patrick Njiru, former rugby sevens coach Benjamin Ayimba, Olympic Marathon Champion Eliud Kipchoge, the immediate former National Olympic Committee of kenya (NOCK) chariman Kipchoge Keino, Harambee Starlets striler CorazonAquino who appealed to cooperate bodies to help raise the level of the women football in the country.
“This is a great campaign, I appealed for more companies to follow suit. This is good” noted Kichoge, who is being regarded as the world greatest marathoner.
Speaking at the launch event that brought together past and present sports stakeholders, heroes and heroines, SportPesa Chief Executive Officer Captain Ronald Karauri noted that since the sports sector is a significant pillar of the Kenyan society that impacts directly on socio-economic growth, no stone should be left unturned in nurturing and ensuring it flourishes.
“Kenya has a proud sporting history. Our sporting greats have reached the pinnacle of success shattering world records and giving every citizen a reason to smile during competitions at the world stage. Are we as sports stakeholders doing enough to uphold this legacy?” posed Captain Karauri.
Karauri added: “We must set the stage for the stars and starlets coming up after the heroes we remember so fondly and vividly like Wangila, Kipchoge, Kadenge, Tergat, Lorupe, Seraphino, Oliech, Waruinge, Bilali, Ndereba, Mulama, Odumbe, Patrick Njiru and Jason Dunford to succeed globally. That is our calling”
In 2013 sports act, The National Sports Fund was established under the ministry of sports, culture and art whose main purpose is to raise funds to facilitate growth and development of the sports industry in the country but four years later, the body is yet to start full operation. The blueprint project is in line with Kenyan’s Vision 2030.