No practical policy to reward athletes, CS Amina admits

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 23 Jul, 2019 00:00 | 2 mins read
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed (centre) chats with Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei (right) and the federation’s Nairobi Branch boss Barnabas Korir at Riadha House on Monday. Photo/DAVID NDOLO
Amos Abuga @PeopleSport11

Sports Cabinet Secretary (CS) Amin Mohamed has admitted that her ministry does not have a practical compensation policy to reward top-performing sportsmen and women in international competitions.

President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a directive to have a policy in place before August, but the reality is that it would not be practical to have the policy by next month as the CS explained.

Her confession comes at a time when the country is preparing to send teams to the All African Games in Morocco next month as well as to Word Championships in Doha, Qatar in September.

Speaking yesterday at Riadha House, a first visit by a minister in more than 13-years, Amina said the contribution of Athletics to Kenyan Sports was immense.

During a May 2019 meeting with Sports stakeholders, Uhuru directed that all Kenyan sportsmen representing the country at international competitions must be fully catered for before leaving the country.

The current cash reward scheme was started by former President Mwai Kibaki in 2007 but it has never been implemented properly.

“What we aspire to achieve is that all sportsmen and women representing the country in international tournaments are fully facilitated, be it kits, tickets, accommodation and allowances. We are currently engaging stakeholders to see what happens,” she said

Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei who doubles up as chairman of the National Sports Fund was the host of the ceremony attended by all16 regional chairpersons and officials as well as over 20 elite athletes led by three times World Half marathon Champion Geoffrey Kamworor and double World Champion Vivian Cheruiyot.

Cutting across all the AK regions was the lack of funds, facilities, and the doping menace grievances that Sport boss was told in detail.

“I have listened to all the regions and their challenges are the same, we want to work closely together,”she assured.

Amina the ministry will give the Local Organising Committee for the 2020 World Under 20 Championships the necessary support to ensure facilities like Kasarani Stadium is ready to host the global event.

Meanwhile, impressive victories by Hellen Obiri and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce highlighted the second day of action at the Muller Anniversary Games in London Stadium on Sunday.

In one of the outstanding showdowns of the afternoon, Obiri kicked away from Sifan Hassan with just over 200 metres to go to take the 5000m in 14:20.36, a meeting record and world-leading performance.

The reigning world champion needed to utilize every bit of her notorious closing speed to hold off compatriot Agnes Tirop, who blew by the fading Hassan over the final 50 metres to finish second in 14:20.68. 

For Obiri, it was her second-fastest performance ever and for the 23-year-old Tirop, her best ever.

“I am so happy because this is my favourite track and I have done my best and I ran the way I wanted to,” said Obiri, who took the 2017 world title in London Stadium. “In the last lap I was thinking, work hard and I said to myself when I went past Hassan, ‘Let me go and see if you can catch me’.”

She could not, but still clocked 14:22.12 to improve her own European record by 0.12, nine days after breaking the world record in the mile.

For the locals, the women’s 100m was the headline attraction of the meeting’s second day, given the presence of triple European champion Dina Asher-Smith. She opened the day well, cruising to a 10.91 win in the heats. But Fraser-Pryce was much more relaxed with a 10.95 run in her heat, an apt precursor for her dominant run in the meet-capping final.