5 most favored sports in Kenya

Wednesday, August 31st, 2022 00:01 | By
Baringo athletes
Athletes during a training exercise. PHOTO/SweatElite.

In Kenya, sport is a way of life, a method to reconnect with the past, and a chance to reach international success. Kenyans are passionate when it comes to cheering their famous athletes, and the range of disciplines they’re interested in is quite broad. Kenyans love engaging in games themselves, watching games on tv, and attending events and tournaments. Even though the nation adores a large number of sports, here are the five most popular categories in the country.


Although Kenyans are passionate about a wide variety of sports, football has been taking a significant lead for a long time. Football is easy to play, and even the most disadvantaged kids can enjoy playing it in the streets, and that is one of the main reasons behind its vast popularity in Kenya. The country’s national team hasn't really had some major international successes, but football is still considered the national sport, and some of the players such as Michael Olunga, Victor Wanyama, and Dennis Oliech became famous worldwide.

The top players are part of the country’s fully professional league called The Kenyan Premier League, while the National Super League puts together a mixture of both semi-professional and professional clubs. People of all ages love watching and playing football, and many of them regularly engage in their favourite new pastime called sports betting where they test their sports knowledge and even make use of different advantages such as one of the Betwinner bonus options and many others.


Athletics is one of the first modern sports that were formally organized within the country, and today, Kenya is basically the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about professional athletics. It is home to some of the most amazing athletes in the world who compete and take lead in many different categories such as field, cross country, track, and of course, marathon.

Names like Catherine Ndereba, Eliud Kipchoge, and Samuel Wanjiru keep popping up in sports news, and the country’s athletes are yet to show their full potential. Catherine Ndereba, for example, won the famous Boston Marathon four times, and she is also a double world champion in the category. The athletes have scored amazing results in races held in London, New York, Tokyo, and Berlin, as well as in the Olympic Games.


Basketball is currently experiencing the fastest growth in the country, and many young Kenyans are absolutely crazy about it. And even though there are not many professional players in the European and Asian Leagues, the country produced lots of successful members of the NCAA, the world’s top league for university students.

When it comes to the national team, their best years fall between the mid-80s to the mid-90s when they managed to take part in the African Basketball Championship. In 1993, they even entered the semifinals of this prestigious competition. At the moment, Kenya’s most famous players are Ongoro Joseph, Ligare Griffin, Abuto Crispin, and others. In 2021, the men’s national team was taken over by Liz Mills, and with his help, they entered their first AfroBasket championship after long 28 years. At the qualification, the team beat Angola, the eleven-time champion, for the first time ever.

Rugby Union

Rugby union entered Kenya at the beginning of the 20th century when the locals saw British officials and the settlers play a match in Mombasa for the very first time, and the sport has been a matter of interest ever since. Today, there are more than 50,000 licensed players in the country, and the sport’s popularity is boosted by Safari Sevens - the annual tournament held in Nairobi. Kenya is now making a name for itself in the world of rugby union, and its success lies in a number of sports icons like Humphrey Kayange, Paul Murunga, Oscar Osir, Edward Rombo, and many others.


Just like basketball, volleyball is another category popular among the younger population, and it has been getting more and more attention in recent years. In the past thirty years, several different clubs won more than ten championships on the continent, and the women’s national team is the one that truly stands out. Since 1991, the women’s team has won 9 African titles, and the ladies are looking forward to proving their dominance at the Olympic Games and World Championships. The nation appreciates the successes of the women’s team, and they love cheering for some of its most prominent members like Jane Wairimu, Sharon Chepchumba, Noel Murambi, and others.

Sport is a very important component of Kenyan culture, and the nation keeps giving its undivided attention to all the popular teams and individual athletes. Although the popularity of football can hardly be matched by any other category, many other sports like athletics, rugby union, basketball and volleyball have found their way to the hearts of Kenyan enthusiasts.

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