Ambassador Amina Mohamed on Tuesday morning officially took over from Rashid Echesa as the new Cabinet Secretary for Sports.
Echesa’s appointment was a surprise to many about a year ago and for the time he has served at the docket, he has convinced everyone that he deserves to be sacked.
however, Echesa’s failure to perform in the sports docket can only mean that Amina has more work to do. She is expected to deliver more than her predecessor and doing so would mean she has to finish Echesa’s projects and continue with work from where he left off.
With over 20 different Sports played in the country, Amina has a huge workload, and she oughts to do better than Echesa if she wants to win the hearts of the sporting Industry. There are, however, specific tasks that Amina should give priority to if she wants to make a mark in the Industry.
The entire sporting fraternity in Kenya, closely watch for Amina’s first steps before they can make out on whether she is fit for the job or not. A few mistakes from the former Education CS will see protests for her removal within a short time as the Industry has been surviving on empty promises.
Here we look at some of the things we think Amina should prioritize if she is to leave a mark in the sports docket.
Push for new stadiums
This was a promise made by the President and his Deputy when they were delivering their manifesto in 2013. The promise that is yet to be fulfilled has been music sports enthusiasts’ ears and some even disregard talking about saying it was a big joke.
It was a promise by the Jubilee government and Amina, being in the Cabinet, is a member of the government. If she even tries to push and see that one major stadium is built in the country to supplement Nyayo and Kasarani stadiums, Amina would have won the hearts of the sports Industry.
We have blamed the Jubilee government for failing to keep their promises about the stadiums but maybe it’s just the sports ministry that has never had a person who could follow up on the issue. Amina might just be the person that would deliver the promise made by the government to Kenyans.
Shujaa team issues
The Kenyan Rugby Sevens team has been emulating poor results in the last legs of the HSBC series with the problem is with the players as well as the management. The main issue at Kenya 7s is that they are without the service of star players who have boycotted training due to pay cuts.
Appreciating a sportsman is key in growing any sport in any region. The fact that the Shujaa players were given a pay cut while they anticipated a raise shows how sportsmen and women are underappreciated.
So Amina, appreciate the sportsmen and women and see how tremendously sports will grow in the country during your tenure. The Shujaa striking players are only but a representation of how underappreciated our sports talents are.
The players speak for many who had their salaries cut or have not even been paid and yet they continue to play. It is the high time our sportsmen and women from the various sporting disciplines should be appreciated.
It is high time Shujaa came back to its winning ways. Shujaa should be the pride of Kenya once more.
Harambee Stars AFCON campaign
They qualified for the African Cup of Nations with little support from the government. When they were playing Ethiopia away, Harambee stars were forced to travel in two batches after the government delayed to release the funds needed to facilitate a one trip travel.
Arriving at Ethiopia, the players did not have a residential camp in Ethiopia as the government had failed to chip in. The ministry came to inject the cash in the last minute. Foreign-based players have always traveled back for International duty with their own money.
As they prepare for the AFCON, Harambee Stars needs full support from the ministry in order to perform well in the tournament. It is one of Amina’s huge tasks to see that the team is well treated and does not lack anything they need to put on a show in Cairo Egypt.
But the road to AFCON has already begun. The test for Amina would be the away qualifier match against Ghana on March 22.
Development of unrecognised sports
Table Tennis, Lawn Tennis, Polo, Hockey, name them. Kenya has a great number of sports but you can bet that over 50% of Kenyans only know about Athletics, Football and maybe Rugby. Kenyans are talented differently and it can only be fair if a person talented in Table Tennis can get the same support with a talented football player.
It is clear that some sports are more popular than others that still does not mean we disregard talent. Kenyans are given an opportunity to represent Kenya because they are talented hence they should be supported and helped in nurturing their talents.
Recently, Kenyan only skier Sabrina Wanjiku said that she is considering to retire at the age of 22 because of a lack of money to facilitate her training. If she is forced to retire at the age of 22, upcoming skiers who maybe look up to her will be forced to change dreams.
Amina has the onus of developing such sports as they are part of the country’s great history.