Kiambu waters of opportunity: 500 convene for aquatic games
Over 500 swimmers from 30 schools and clubs with a record of over 2000 entries graced the two-day first all-inclusive Kiambu County Aquatics Association Invitational Championships over the weekend.
Speaking at the event’s venue, the Mpesa Foundation Academy in Thika, on Sunday, Kiambu County Aquatics Association Publics Relations Officer (PRO) Nesmas Wesonga was optimistic about the success adding that the county’s aim is to have swimmers from the region in the national team.
“This is an amazing event and the very first all-inclusive swimming gala to ever happen in Kenya. Apart from the usual swimmers, we have included persons with disabilities in our event to promote equality in sports,” said Wesonga who added that the top swimmers in every entry category will be selected and will be part of the to-be-formed Kiambu County Swimming team.
The association’s chairperson, Stanley Mwangi Kaberu, lauded the inaugural event heaping praise on the schools and clubs that showed up.
“This is exactly how we are going to develop our swimmers. We need more clubs and schools that embrace this sport and from there we will put them into competitions and see how they will fair up against each other. I am optimistic that soon we are going to see swimmers from Kiambu into the national team,” said Kaberu adding that the county’s swimming association is also planning to buy the latest software, at a cost of Sh100,000, to manage swimming events internationally.
The event was also graced by county officials notably Osman Korare who is the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in charge of sports and communication, and said that it was important for school-going children to be developed into great athletes from an early age.
“We are going to develop modern stadia that will include unpopular sports like swimming. Our aim now is to upgrade Kanjeru Stadium in Kabete and Thika Municipal Stadium in Thika town to international standards that will fulfill the requirements of IAAF and CAF,” said Osman adding that once students are done with school, they will continue taking on Swimming in public facilities that are to be developed by the county.
The interim president of Kenya Aquatics Maureen Ogutu also took her time to attend the event and said that she was impressed that Kiambu County was the first one to purchase a starter horn and looking forward to purchasing touchpads estimated to cost Sh1,500,000.
Potters House School claimed the overall winners of the women’s category amassing a total of 30 medals 15 gold medals, eight silvers and seven bronze while the men’s category was won by Super Marlins Swim Club garnering a total of 45 medals which had them 16 gold, 15 silvers and 14 bronze.
Persons with disabilities (PWD) came from Joy Town Special School in Thika town and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Mombasa, something that PRO Wesonga said was important to also include them in the competitions, as most school-going children living with disability are neglected hence a total waste of talents that might help Kenya during global competitions.