Beach Games a step in the right direction
What you need to know:
- May as many talents in as many sports disciplines sprout, flourish and ripen into sports persons who will dominate at the international level.
- This is no doubt a mission that requires the support of the county governments, the private sector, the government as well as sports fans across the country. It is a win-win situation for all of us. It is a huge win for Kenya.
Over the past weekend, Malindi was a beehive of activities as hundreds of sports persons across Kenya congregated at the picturesque Buntwani Beach for the inaugural National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) Beach Games.
Various sports disciplines were represented including volleyball, tennis, freestyle football, beach football, aquathlon, tennis, ajua, wrestling, taekwondo, karate, boxing, dhow racing, judo, and surfing.
It was an opportunity for athletes from these disciplines to gather and interact, sharing skills and learning more about the different sports apart from what they normally specialize in.
No one went home empty-handed; everyone was a winner as endless entertainment on the glistening sandy beaches kept the mood festive.
These beach games are a step in the right direction as far as enhancing Kenya’s reputation as a sporting powerhouse and destination is concerned.
Our prowess in athletics, especially middle and long-distance races, is already world-renowned.
Kenya has won many medals on the international scene – such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games – through athletics, in addition to other disciplines, such as volleyball.
However, if we are to win more medals and enhance our reputation, it is important to diversify into other disciplines that were previously not given much attention.
The beach games offer us a chance to identify new talents at the different grass-roots where these competitions are held.
It is noteworthy that NOC-K have said that these games will be the norm rather than the exception going forward.
The advantage is that organizing and staging such competitions does not present many challenges due to the presence of ready facilities in the form of sandy beaches.
It is the same case with mountain running where Athletics Kenya (AK) has been working hard to hold these competitions across mountainous regions in the country.
So far, mountain running meets have been held in Mt Longonot (Naivasha), Mt Kenya (Meru), Nandi Hills, Kilgoris, Bomet and Kisii.
Through these competitions, talents continue to emerge and proceed to dominate the world stage.
A perfect example is Patrick Kipngeno who clinched silver at the World Mountain Running Championships in November last year. I hope to see the same happen in beach games.
May as many talents in as many sports disciplines sprout, flourish and ripen into sports persons who will dominate at the international level.
This is no doubt a mission that requires the support of the county governments, the private sector, the government as well as sports fans across the country. It is a win-win situation for all of us. It is a huge win for Kenya.
Korir is the chairman of Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch and Kip Keino Classic meet director. [email protected]