What you need to know:
- Mutuku advised badminton officials to formalise their reunion, but work towards having a joint election or office.
- Mwethya and Akwnyi noted that the wrangles have interfered mainly with the national team training, but hopes that the new reunion will bear fruits.
Badminton Kenya (BK) is set for better days after acquiring its first modern competition and training mats courtesy of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K).
The presentation of the four competition and one training mats worth Sh 1.5 million by NOC-K president Paul Tergat at Aryan Samaj Sports Hall, Parklands, Nairobi also witnessed a truce being declared by the warring factions in the federations.
The factions led by BK chairman Peter Muchiri and Geoffrey Shigoli shook hands, vowing to end the wrangles that had bedeviled the sport for four years, interfering with national teams training among other programs.
“It’s a great day and a major milestone for us since we have never had such equipment. This is a huge thing for us since God has finally answered our prayers,” said Muchiri, who assured Kenyans and the badminton fraternity that the day also marked the end of the wrangles in the game.
“We have closed the ranks and we shall continue to work together for the benefit of the sport, “said Muchiri, who paid tribute to Shigoli, who ensured that all worked well at NOC-K to deliver the equipment besides helping with clearance at the port.
“We now want to concentrate our energies in building the game with our first target being the Tokyo Olympic Games next year where we want to qualify some players,” said Shigoli.
Muchiri said most of the national team players were used to training on concrete floors, which impeded good performance.
“The concrete floor is slippery and one would think they are good until they get to the mat that is not slippery. The speed and body movement tends to be slow on the mat,” said Muchiri, who was accompanied by nine national team players led by Mercy Mwethya and Edwin Akwanyi.
Tergat challenged the officials to live up to their promise and end the wrangles. “You must close the ranks immediately for the benefit of the sport. Its players who suffer more when officials are wrangling,” said Tergat.
“You must not wait any longer to bring back the sport to where it belongs.”
Tergat, who was accompanied by acting secretary general, Francis Mutuku, and treasurer Anthony Kariuki, explained badminton is a sport that can easily give Kenya medals at major events like Commonwealth Games and Olympics but only is managed well.
Also present were NOC-K High Performance Commission head Humphrey Kayange and member Geoffrey Kimani.
Mutuku advised badminton officials to formalise their reunion, but work towards having a joint election or office.
Mwethya and Akwnyi noted that the wrangles have interfered mainly with the national team training, but hopes that the new reunion will bear fruits.
“Personally, it’s a bitter-sweet feeling for me knowing that we could have been far today. We really needed this equipment and more so, these officials coming together,” said Mwethya.
Akwanyi said they will now need to train with feather shuttlecock and not the plastic shuttlecocks that they are used to so as to enhance their performances at major events.