Why it won't be business as usual at NOC-K

Deloitte East Africa CEO Anne Muraya (left) receives a gift from National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) president Paul Tergat after signing a partnership agreement, at Deloitte Place, Nairobi. [NOC-K Media]

It will no longer be business as usual at the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) after the association entered into a long-term sustainable partnership with leading accountancy firm Deloitte East Africa ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The competition is set for July 26-August 11.

Though the Rio 2016 Olympics has been considered as Kenya’s best ever event after the country clinched 13 medals (six gold, six silver, and one bronze), it was overshadowed by the incompetence and corruption of its team management with athletes enduring many problems.

But from now henceforth, Kenyan athletes will only have training and performance to focus on as Deloitte brings its in-depth expertise in management and business consulting services onboard to ensure everything runs smoothly.

"In the times we live in it calls for more sacrifice. We came into office to transform the Olympic body and the Olympic movement. We are pleased with this partnership," said NOC-K president Paul Tergat during the unveiling of the partnership in Nairobi yesterday.

The deal which will run upto Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games will also see Deloitte, an Olympic Partner, offer their services to other major sporting events including the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games, the Youth Commonwealth Games, and the Commonwealth Games.

“For many years, sports federations have been accused of mismanagement, but our partnership with Deloitte takes us from those issues to the top level in terms of how we manage our organization. Deloitte will now help us attain the international level in everything we run; how our systems and policies should be, and what timelines need to be observed,” said NOC-K Secretary General Francis Mutuku.

“They will be walking with us, and no history will be lost as they check each and every aspect of our operations including the funds we get. This will ensure we are not only accountable in financial matters but also operational and managerial aspects. We are now going to operate at elite level with athletes’ travel plans will be flawless and their mental wellness must be well-taken care of by getting their allowances and kits on time.”

His sentiments were echoed by NOC-K treasurer Anthony Kariuki who said: “Despite the Rio 2016 Olympics being one of the well-performed events in terms of medals won, it’s mostly remembered for the bad reasons. They don’t remember the number of medals we won, but the mess that was in Rio. We are reminded about this by every single corporates we approach. So, I have been asking my colleagues, is it the medals that matters or is it the way we handle the team. On that basis, we now have this partnership so that these athletes can be comfortable, focus on training and competitions knowing that they will get their kits and allowances as well as travel safely.”

However, for Deloitte East Africa CEO Anne Muraya, their role will not be to run the show but help NOC-K operate professionally with the aim of improving the athletes’ welfare.

“Globally, we are putting millions of dollars into this partnership, but it’s not just the money we are giving, we are giving our time and expertise. This is going to be really beneficial to athletes. We are going to support athletes in terms of financial literacy post their athletics career journey. We are really excited about this journey and we are looking forward to making a big impact,” said Muraya.

“Just like our other clients, NOC-K will still run the show, but we are coming in to help them do things better. The better they do, the more it works for the athletes and that’s what our role is.”

The partnership was warmly welcomed by Shujaa player Benson Salem Adoyo and 400m athlete Veronica Mutua saying the deal will motivate many athletes ahead of the Paris Olympics.

“This partnership will make a lot of difference to athletes as we are assured our welfare will be well-taken care of before, during and after the Olympics. Additionally, we hope to benefit through the post-career mentorship programmes,” said Adoyo, who vowed to make a cut to Kenya Sevens Olympics squad.

Mutua added: “This is a game changer and we are all happy about the partnership which is centered around athletes’ welfare. It is now up to us to work hard, qualify for the Olympics and win medals for our country.”

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