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Devolution: Sponsorship in sports still not sufficient

Last updated 4 months ago | By Standard Team

Sharon Cherop celebrates after crossing the winning line during the first edition of Eldoret City Marathon in Eldoret town yesterday. 22.04.2018.PHOTOS BY PETER OCHIENG/STANDARD

It’s sad that even after sports became a devolved function a decade ago, few counties have sponsored local sports events.

And even with the sponsorship, in few counties, it has been too small –despite the fact that this remains their mandate as provided in the 2010 Constitution.

In Kisii, Shabana Football Club has been facing financial challenges that has sometimes seen players and the technical bench go for months without pay, a situation that in most cases conspired with the club's poor performances.

Shabana, which is the only football club in Kisii County to feature in the National Super League, has not received funding from the county.

In 2015, the team was forced to give two walkovers to Kariobangi Sharks and Modern Coast Rangers in the FKF league due to lack of funds.

In April, the club’s vice chairperson, Yabesh Nyandoro, said the team was unable to pay players and the technical bench since “we have exhausted all our resources.”

In 2018, Shabana Patron Jared Nivaton hoped that the County Government was to keep its word in supporting the club but the funding has not materialised.

In Meru, the county government has sponsored few sports events that include Mt Kenya Running Championships at the foot of Mt Kenya in February.

They also partner with Safaricom in the South Imenti 15km road race, which attracts local and international athletes every year.

Last October, the county partnered with Spread the Truth and hosted a tournament that featured football, volleyball and basketball.

Uasin Gishu sponsors the Eldoret City Marathon, which is one of the biggest 42km races in Africa. Winners take home Sh3.5 million.

In Nairobi, the county government sponsors Nairobi Water Queens club, the East and Central Africa handball champions.

The county has started a multi discipline academy where young athletes pursuing careers in football, boxing ,karate, judo, taekwondo are nurtured.

The county is also supporting sports events that involve Persons Living with Disability.

One of the teams is the Kenya Amputee team that has represented the country at the World Cup twice, the recent one in Mexico.

Nairobi Sitting Volleyball teams have also benefited from Nairobi County Government support. [Stories by Eric Abuga, Phares Mutembei, Oyugi Ochieng and Jonathan Komen]

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