Upcoming basketball players and basketball clubs in Kayole have a bright future in the sport after Bakee Mtaani unveiled and handed over a full-size FIBA standard basketball court at Umama public grounds in Komarock along Kangundo road in Kayole, Nairobi.
Constructed to the tune of Sh2.5million, the project was started by the Jonathan Jackson Foundation which is sponsored by the FKF Premier League club Nairobi City Stars.
Bakee Mtaani Program (basketball in the hood) is a revolutionary community initiative that introduces basketball courts as safe spaces within Nairobi’s informal settlements and communities.
The project includes the identification and construction of basketball courts, sourcing of equipment, implementation of training for coaches and referees to oversee basketball tournaments and comprehensive training programs for the youths to learn the sport and ensure high levels of participation.
So far, the Jonathan Jackson Foundation have constructed three NBA standard basketball courts built in the Dagoretti North and Dagoretti South Communities.
On Wednesday, the foundation in conjunction with leading eatery KFC Kuku Foods launched the court and handed it over to Divine World Parish (DIWOPA) who provided the land, for onward availability to the community.
Sports Kenya Director General Pius Metto saluted the gesture by the two giant corporations and underlined its importance in addressing the shortage of sports facilities in the country.
"This launch is a progressive initiative to ensure young, talented and disadvantaged sportsmen and women are given an opportunity to discover, develop and showcase their talents.
"As a Ministry, we acknowledge with tremendous gratitude the support and commitment exhibited by sponsors, community leaders, partners and other stakeholders.
"The Ministry appreciates Jonathan Jackson Foundation, KFC and Devine Word Parish, Kayole for this exemplary partnership,” he said.
Jonathan Jackson Foundation founder and Chairman Jonathan Jackson encouraged the youth to take up sports as a key ingredient to their development that could unlock their potential.
"My first wish is for the youth to come to the basketball court to have fun, to get off the street and enjoy some sport in a space that is safe and protected in a place to enjoy the game together,"
"My wish and aim are to build 25 basketball courts in Nairobi at the moment. This is the fourth one and we are going to do another five shortly. As we build them, we are going to start tournaments between courts. You now have your first one and we are going to build four more in this community."