What you need to know:
- President Uhuru Kenyatta banned all sporting activities in the country on March 26, as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus
- Several local football club officials Wednesday told Nation Sport they have stopped team training, and resorted to sharing individual training programs with their respective players which are monitored by the fitness coaches
- Of grave concern to the officials is the economic hardship that sportspersons might be forced to cope with, should the suspension of sporting activities persist
With sporting activities suspended in the country due to the spike in Covid-19 cases, various football clubs have moved to ensure that their players remain fit, by coming up with unique training programs.
President Uhuru Kenyatta banned all sporting activities in the country on March 26, as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus.
As of Tuesday, 139,842 Covid-19 cases had been confirmed in the country from a sample size of 1,523,313. The fatality rate stood at 2,258.
Several local football club officials Wednesday told Nation Sport they have stopped team training, and resorted to sharing individual training programs with their respective players which are monitored by the fitness coaches.
“We advised all players to keep themselves fit individually at their homes while observing the Ministry of Health protocols. Our fitness team and other members of the technical bench have a responsibility to monitor how they are progressing with the daily individual training,” said Tusker chairman Daniel Aduda.
Mathare United Chief Executive Officer Jecton Obure said: “Training is continuing but in a different way. Because most of our players live within the same area, the fitness trainer divided them into small groups, so they train among themselves under his watch.”
Kisumu All Stars CEO Nicholas Ochieng said: “We gave them one week rest after which they resumed training in groups of three based on where they reside. Next week we plan to start departmental training. The goalkeepers will be training on their own, same to defenders and the rest of the positions.”
Review of sponsorships
But of grave concern to the officials is the economic hardship that sportspersons might be forced to cope with, should the suspension of sporting activities persist.
While Aduda said that Tusker’s players are still receiving their salaries in full, he did not rule out re-negotiation of the team’s sponsorship deal with East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL). “Nobody knows about tomorrow. We are still taking care of our players including the youth team like we were doing before. If the suspension persists, then maybe there will be need for re-negotiation with the sponsor, and see whether still they can support the boys because they (EABL ) are also getting a beating from the pandemic,” he said.
Mathare’s CEO Obure said negotiations between them and the club’s shirt sponsor, Triple5Bet, following the suspension of sporting activities in the country are still ongoing.
"The talks are ongoing and we will reach an agreement in due course," he said.
The Slum Boys signed a one year deal worth Sh20 million with Triple5bet, a gaming firm last December.
The renewal was subject to further agreement.
All Stars players will continue to receive their salaries since they have a contract with the county government of Kisumu. However, Ochieng has called on the national government to come up with a plan of cushioning the players should the suspension last more than one month.
“Sports is a livelihood of many players. If we are going to be without games for more than one month, the government should chip in so that athletes find ways of catering for their daily expenses,” he said.
Last year when sports were suspended in the country, the Ministry of Sports bailed out vulnerable athletes with Sh10,000-a-month stimulus package in the months of May, June and July.