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Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya assures Moraa over future events

By Gibo Zachary
Friday, August 7th, 2020
African deaf champion Juster Moraa.
In summary

Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya (DAAK) has come out to allay concerns of 10,000m African deaf champion Juster Moraa that the organisation may overlook her in upcoming events. 

The assurance follows an interview the athlete gave People Sport recently in which she revealed that she was not a benefiary of the Sh10,000 monthly government stimulus package to cushion vulnerable athletes from the harsh economic situation occasioned by the outbreak of coronavirus. 

DAAK national coordinator Tom Okiki, however, says the association does not bear any ill-will towards the athlete.

“It’s true, other athletes have received and she hasn’t. She was not in the list because the ministry couldn’t cushion all athletes. In fact 40 athletes received the ministry’s stimulus money. 

“We submitted 60 deaf athletes, but the number was so high and the ministry requested us to reduce to 40 because other sportsmen and women from other disciplines (basketball, football, golf, handball, volleyball and such) also needed to be considered for cushioning. That is the criteria and that’s why she wasn’t on the list,” said Okiki.

Moraa’s mother, Mary Kwamboka, who acts as her guide, had raised concerns over her daughter’s future engagement with the association, saying that in the past, her daughter had experienced  mistreatment and that DAAK was sidelining her and threatening to exclude her from the association’s future events.

“There’s no doubt that Moraa is a very talented athlete. We helped her participate in local events such as Regional Deaf Athletics trials and Deaf Half Marathon from which she was selected to represent the country at international competitions such as 2013 Deaflympics, 2016 World Deaf Athletics Championships and 2017 Deaflympics. 

“Although her performance has been disappointing at international competitions, there is absolutely no reason why we would threaten and harass her,” said Okiki. 

On the cash prize promised to athlete during last year’s 1st Africa Deaf Athletics Championship held here in Kenya, Okiki said the ministry is yet to release the money and once they receive it, the runners will receive their share.

He also clarified that the amount is not Sh1 million as Moraa had been made to understand, but it’s the ministry’s discretion to decide.