Sports a tool for peace in times of turmoil

Fans enjoy action

Fans enjoy action during the Kip Keino Classic at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on May 7, 2022.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • May we continue to dwell in unity, peace and liberty.

The past week has been a tense one for most Kenyans as they awaited the results of the General Election.

Everywhere, the mood has been a pensive and anxious one with fingers crossed that each one of our preferred candidates succeeds.

Admittedly, as is the nature in every competition, there has been banter thrown about, sometimes bordering on abuse and insults.

This is quite unfortunate seeing as there are many things that unite us as Kenyans compared to the ones that divide us.

Sports is undoubtedly one of those things that unite Kenyans by virtue of the fact that all of us love one sport or another —and have even played before. This country is a sporting destination that has hosted major events across various disciplines.

It is only recently in May that Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani was filled to the brim during the third edition of the Kip Keino Classic. On that occasion, thousands of people stood side by side, cheering on our national heroes as they went up against their international counterparts.

On that day, we hugged each other and laughed together, regardless of our differing political ideologies or preferred candidates. This should be the spirit we embrace as we move forward.

Remember, there are many upcoming sports events that will continue to unify us as Kenyans as our sportsmen and women shine at the international level.

As a sportsman or woman, this is the time to be a unifying voice in the community, speaking peace and hope to your fans. Your words, whether on social media or in person, should be carefully measured to avoid goading those who may have been disappointed by the outcome of this election.

Sportspersons should be ambassadors of peace and there is no better time to show it than now.

Many of us who profess our love for football are familiar with Chelsea legend Didier Drogba of Cote d’Ivoire who helped restore peace in his country by asking for one of their matches to be held in a venue in a rebel stronghold.

Such efforts help create the picture that we are one as a country, regardless of our cultural, social and political diversities. Our Kenyan sports heroes can take cue from Drogba and help restore unity in their local communities in the aftermath of the General Election.

There is still a lot more to come in the sports sector even as we usher in the last quarter of the year. We have the Diamond League circuit in which a number of our Kenyan athletes will be competing.

Locally, we have the Athletics Kenya Cross Country Series, which spills over into next year. Of course, for the whole sporting world, the biggest event to cap the year will be the Fifa World Cup to be held in Qatar in December.

May we continue to dwell in unity, peace and liberty.

Korir is the Chairman of Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch.

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