Ray of hope…

Thursday, April 8th, 2021 23:11 | By
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed (right) and Principlal Secretary Joe Okudo witness vaccination of an athlete at Kasarani yesterday as an excercise to vaccinate all sports persons in the country began. Photo/PD/EDWIN OTIENO

There seem to be light at the end of the tunnel as the sports fraternity continue to seek President Uhuru Kenyatta’s attention to lift the blanket suspension following an upsurge in the coronavirus pandemic last month.

Yesterday, Sport Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed launched an intensive national vaccination exercise targeted at having at least 3,500 sportsmen and women vaccinated in the first phase as a way of mitigating the spread of the virus.

“According to emerging evidence, the sports and creative economies have been worst hit by the effects of the pandemic.

Nevertheless, our athletes who are Kenya’s International Brand Ambassadors have shown incredible resilience and agility. 

They have observed all the Presidential and Ministry of Health guidelines with admirable discipline which has been the hallmark of Kenya’s dominance in sports globally,” Amina said.

The Minister stated: “Today we have commenced a nationwide vaccination programme covering all our national teams with specific priority to teams participating in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralymic Games, all personnel working on the WRC/FIA Safari Rally Kenya, World Athletics Under 20 Championships, World Athletics Continental Tour, the Rugby Barthes Cup, all Sports SAGAS, specifically Sports Kenya, the Kenya Academy of Sports, Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya, Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund and all Ministry of Sports frontline staffers.”

Anina said the international events the country was lined up to host required preparation, including full vaccination and reciprocal compliance with International Covid-19 Sporting Protocols.

“I assure the country that this exercise will cover every sportsperson and support personnel wherever they may be,” she said.

Football that constitutes a huge chunk of sportsmen in the country seems to have been forgotten in the exercise, but Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa confirmed to People Sport that his federation had been notified to avail 700 football players and officials on Saturday for the vaccine at Kasarani Stadium.

“We will be vaccinating 700 players and officials on Saturday at Kasarani and we target to vaccinate all league players and officials by Tuesday and present them with Covid-19 passports, so from there, only players with the passports will be allowed to play in our leagues,” Mwendwa told People Sport.

He added: “Our national men team football team Harambee Stars have a crucial 2022 World Cup qualifier on June 5 and given that this time our team will be constituted mostly of local players, they need to be playing to get match fitness prior o the campaign. 

“This is the first time we have a realistic chance of both Harambee Stars and Harambee Starlets reaching the World Cup for the first time.”

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