- The federation is seeking Sh272 million from the government to support the main event hosting budget and the national team - Jasiri.
- The World Tong-IL Moo-Doo Federation, he said, had agreed to sponsor part of the budget with Sh106 million with participating countries covering Sh105 million
A total of 42 countries and over 400 participants are expected to participate in the 11th edition of the Mombasa Open Tong-IL Moo-Doo Championships.
The competition, slated for December 9 to 20 at the Agha Khan Gymnasium, has attracted players from Africa, North and South America, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.
Speaking during a press conference at the Kenya Tong-IL Moo-Doo Federation headquarters in Mombasa, Master Clarence Mwakio said they were ready for the competition despite the financial challenges.
“Last year, we faced a huge challenge because we received no support from the government, but despite the hurdle, we managed to pull off a successful event,” said Mwakio. He said they require Sh589 million to fulfill all their budgetary obligations.
The federation is seeking Sh272 million from the government to support the main event hosting budget and the national team—Jasiri.
The World Tong-IL Moo-Doo Federation, he said, had agreed to sponsor part of the budget with Sh106 million with participating countries covering Sh105 million
“We spoke with the Ministry of Sports last year informing them of our intention to host the event this year. We also sent reminders, but we are yet to get a response. We, however, remain hopeful the ministry is going to respond,” Mwakio said.
He lauded the continued working relationship between the federation and the government as he called for fair treatment of all sports federations.
Mwakio, who is also the President of the Africa Tong-IL Moo-Doo Federation, said sports can only grow if they are all given equal treatment.
Kenya he said is a focal point for the growth and development of the sport across the continent and hosting the Mombasa Open Tong-IL Moo-Doo Championships is putting Kenya on the world map.
“We wish all sports federations are treated equally because there are no big or small sports. We need to support the so-called ‘small’ sports to get to the level of other major disciplines,” he said.
Despite team Kenya still owing the federation allowances from last year’s tournament, Mwakio said they are in high spirits and expect to retain the overall title in the competition.
Mwakio said it was sad to note that the county government of Mombasa has failed to support the past ten editions of the tournament missing out on the huge potential of promoting sports tourism.
A reply letter seen by Star dated November 8 informed the federation that they could not get any support from the county due to harsh economic times.
“This is a city-named tournament that was approved by the World Federation after I put in a request. The aim is to promote the sport and boost sports tourism,” said Mwakio.
Tong-IL Moo-Doo has been in Kenya for the last 35 years. The sport has a presence in 12 counties as the federation seeks to roll the sport to all 47 counties by the end of 2025.