Sports CS Ababu urges corporates to partner with government for sports development

Monday, February 12th, 2024 01:00 | By
Sports CS Ababu Namwamba (left) touches a giraffe’s nose at the Baobab Ridge Golf Course in Vipingo during the third round of the 2024 Magical Kenya Ladies Open.. PHOTO/MKLO
Sports CS Ababu Namwamba (left) touches a giraffe’s nose at the Baobab Ridge Golf Course in Vipingo during the third round of the 2024 Magical Kenya Ladies Open.. PHOTO/MKLO

Sports Cabinet Secretary, Ababu Namwamba, has called on Kenyan corporate organizations to partner with the Government to support the growth and development of sports in the country, saying that corporates must start looking at support towards sports as an investment, and not a mere charitable event.

He said the Government is keen to partner with institutions in the private sector to transform sports into an “economic product” that yields benefits for them and the athletes they support.

“There’s no way government alone can carry the load of growing sports and turning sports into the huge economic ecosystem that sports should be. This requires partnerships, and especially partnerships with the corporate world.

“The reason why the Government through his ministry of sports is working very closely with the corporates is to package sports as an economic product and get corporates to put in money - not as a CSR and not as a charitable activity but as an investment. Because sports is a big investment,” he said.

In a wide-ranging interview done on the side-lines of the third round of the 2024 Magical Kenya Ladies Open - currently taking place at the PGA Baobab Course in Vipingo Ridge, Kilifi - the CS further reiterated his warning that sports federations that do not meet the irreducible minimums of transparency, accountability, and good governance - and which lack a robust youth development agenda - should not expect Government funding.

He added that sports federations in Kenya must transform into “breeding grounds for growing talent” anchored on robust youth and grassroots development programmes.

“Federations cannot be just about attending events or bringing budgets to attend events in different capitals around the world or hosting events here in Kenya. They must be the breeding grounds for growing talent. That is why I have asked federations to invest in youth and grassroots development programmes. Every federation must have a youth talent development programme. We are not going to give you any money just to host events if you don’t have a robust youth development agenda,” he said.
Meanwhile, For the past four editions, Safaricom, through its M-PESA platform, has been an integral part of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open, a tournament included in the Ladies European Tour and organized by U.COM Event.

This year marked the fourth edition of the event’s presence in Kenya and East Africa after its debut in 2019. Safaricom, known for its culture of supporting and nurturing talents in the country, committed Sh34.8 million to support the event.

In line with its commitment to nurturing talent, Safaricom provided a unique opportunity to four aspiring golfers: Margaret Njoki and Aisha Duba from Golf Park in the senior category, and Vivian Adhiambo and Ekron Odhiambo from Nyali Golf Club in the junior category, by fully sponsoring them to participate in the Pro-Am tournament.

These four golfers who possess great talent in the sport unfortunately lack the financial means to participate in such a prestigious tournament on their own. They were nominated by their respective foundations, namely the Junior Golf Foundation and the Kenya Ladies Golf Union. The Magical Kenya Ladies Open Pro-Am platform provided these players with the chance to interact with and learn new skills from international professional golfers.

“I am immensely grateful to Safaricom for providing me with the opportunity to participate in this year’s Magical Kenya Ladies Open. It was my first time playing in the Pro-Am event at the tournament, and the experience was truly remarkable. I learned a lot from the professionals I played alongside. One of the key takeaways for me was mastering the technique of rolling the ball far from the bunker,” said Aisha Duba.

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