Prof Njororai: Self-survival, unreachable officials killing sports development

By Robin Toskin: Monday, May 20th 2019 at 20:09 GMT +3 | Sports

Prof. Wycliffe Simiyu Njororai of University of Texas at Tyler, USA, Department of Health and Kinesiology, during a sports conference organised by Kenya Academy of Sports at Crowne Plaza on Monday, May 20, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Self-survival among sports federations leaders combined with an “unreachable top ministry officials unless there is a crisis” have conspired to hold back Kenyan sports, a University of Texas at Tyler (USA) don has said.

According to Prof. Simiyu Njororai, visionary leadership at all levels of sports spearheaded by the relevant Ministry will unlock endless possibilities for the Kenya youth.

“There are a lot of positives in our sporting landscape highlighted by medals won at the Olympics, World Championships and vibrant sporting programmes in most institutions,” Prof Njororai said Monday in a keynote presentation at the inaugural sports conference hosted by the Kenya Academy of Sports at Crowne Plaza Nairobi.

“Yet in the midst of all these positives, lack of requisite competencies, ignorant officers leading teams abroad, federation officials focused more on self-survival, overstaying in office and failing to comply with the Sports Act have made it difficult for the country to realise her sporting potential,” Prof. Njororai said.

The three-day conference, whose theme is ‘Transforming the World through Sports’ brings together a cross-section of sports industry players and academics.

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Kenya’s problems are more to do with lack of visionary leadership which is self-defeating in the face of boundless opportunities, Prof Njororai, who teaches at the Department of Health and Kinesiology, the University of Texas at Tyler, said.

“Manifestations of failed leadership is seen when the same people retain a grip on their positions. This cuts out new and fresh ideas to propel a sport forward,” he said.

The University don cited finances, scientific research and integrated approach to policy development as some of the pillars for sporting success.

“We must develop relevant policies to guide governance and implementation, put forward realistic budgetary allocation, tax breaks for those investing in sports and also merit to guide appointments at all levels including counties,” Prof Njororai said.

Rene Furrer, founder of Sports Academy Zurich is among an array of presenters from around the world attending the conference including the chairperson of the Kenya Academy of Sports Council Paul Tergat, who is also the President of the national Olympic Committee.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports Ambassador Amina Mohamed is represented by CAS Sports and Heritage Hassan Noor. The conference ends on Wednesday.

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