Sports CS Amina rules out early resumption of sporting activities

Friday, May 8th, 2020 00:00 |
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed (right) addresses members of the media at Nyayo National Stadium yesterday before she flagged off food donations by contractor Chandresh Babariya to help vulnerable athletes in Eldoret. Photo/PD/PHILLIP KAMAKYA

Kenya is not ready to relax it’s rules and allow gradual resumption of sporting activities in the wake of the current coronavirus pandemic, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said yesterday.

This comes in the wake of proposed resumption of local football leagues in selected countries like Germany, England, Spain and Italy.

Zambia yesterday were also mooting plans of resuming their local league early next month and so are neighbours Tanzania, whose President Pombe Magufuli has hinted at a return of the league, behind closed doors, in June.

“We are going to have discussions with the stakeholders as we always do but at the moment we have no plans of having sporting activities resuming,” said the CS.

She spoke at Nyayo National Stadium where she flagged off food packages destined for Eldoret as part of an elaborate project that will see the ministry help the most vulnerable athletes.

In an effort to cushion those identified as vulnerable athletes and needing assistance from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic that has left many without a stable source of income as sporting activities were brought to a standstill, the Ministry, yesterday, began distribution of food packages with allowances set to be rolled out later.

“We have identified 58 athletes who are in dire need and partnered with Eliud Kipchoge, who will help in verification and distribution, to provide said athletes with what they need most at this time,” said Amina .

The 58, most of whom were set to take part in the Under 20 athletics championship in Nairobi as well as non-elite athletes who depend on races to earn a living,  form the first batch of about 1500 athletes from across different disciplines who will receive the packages from the ministry.

“The allowance will be sent by Friday but we thought the food should be disbursed immediately.

Every athlete will receive two packages that are adequate for a month and after that we will support them with extra for another month.

We are hopeful that soon this virus will be contained but until then we have pledged to help the vulnerable athletes,” she added.

So far,  about 1, 500 sports men and women have been identified as being in need of food.

“We received Sh 15 million from Betika and are expecting an extra Sh 4 million from other partners.

With this money, and additional funding from the Sports Fund, we are looking at managing an allowance of Sh 10,000, in addition to the food packages, for those already identified.

As we get more partners more athletes will be added to the list.  Apart from athletics, we have identified others in our national teams especially rugby,  women football and paralympics among others,” the CS revealed.

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