• It is heartening to observe the amount of weight that educators have recently placed on extracurricular activities.
• Players who are well into their twenties and over the school-going age should not be competing on the same platform as 15-year-olds. This is unfair.
The passion with which schools have approached the upcoming Term Two Ball Games is nothing short of astounding.
As we speak, students from around 200 high schools are locked up in various institutions across the country competing in build-up events.
The Kenya Secondary School Games will kick off later in the month with the zonal finals up to the national finals in July and culminate with the East Africa championships in August.
It is heartening to observe the amount of weight that educators have recently placed on extracurricular activities. The scenario augurs well for the holistic development of learners in school.
However, such platforms should only be used by serious students looking to further their athletic abilities. Unscrupulous teachers have used technology to scam their way to success by forging paperwork, effectively excluding deserving students.
There are numerous examples of schools that have consistently enlisted outsiders into their squads to help them win trophies, with the full cooperation of the management. We strongly reject this malpractice.
Players who are well into their twenties and over the school-going age should not be competing on the same platform as 15-year-olds. This is unfair.
To eradicate the vice, tournament organisers must act quickly, as it only serves to deprive thousands of sincere students of the chance to demonstrate their abilities.
There is also a ballooning need to sensitise parents on the importance of identifying their children’s potential early.
Over the years, most Kenyan parents have put their children under the pump to excel in academics at the expense of talent development.
However, it would be unfair to blame parents for placing too much emphasis on academics. After all, education has always been perceived as the ultimate gate to success.
With the Kenyan sports terrain fairing dismally and our sportsmen and women languishing in abject poverty, it’s always difficult to convince parents to encourage their children to pursue a career in sports.
The country witnessed numerous incidents, especially during the Covid-19 period where athletes encountered grave financial challenges. A good number were locked out of their rented homes.
Worse, several prominent sports figures had to rely on government subsidies to alleviate financial restraints caused by the pandemic.
But with the government’s recent strong push in talent development under the Talanta Hela monetisation initiative, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.
For example, the champions of the first-ever Talanta Hela Under-19 competition were beaming all weekend as they accepted their monetary prizes.
The teams were paid at the Kisumu County Commissioners offices with the winners in both categories taking home Sh5 million apiece.
The competition began at the local level in the 47 counties, with 16 teams per gender earning a spot in the national finals, which were held in Nairobi in December.
In addition to the government, several business organisations have demonstrated a strong desire to invest substantial sums of money in the sports sector.
Such audacious moves to turn the regional sports scene into a lucrative enterprise will draw young people who can lead our country to unheard heights.