KEPSA Sports, Culture and Arts Sector Board held a meeting on 12th September, 2018. The key focus was Sport for Development in Africa (S4D) presented by Kristin Richter the GIZ Regional manager of S4D and Andrew Oloo the Advisor of S4D.
Sport for Development’ refers to the use of sports to improve people’s lives. Using sport as a tool for development is a worldwide approach.
The Sector Board Chair, Mr. Herbert Mwachiro, welcomed the team from GIZ and appreciated the acknowledgement GIZ gave KEPSA. He stated that the partnership between KEPSA and GIZ will help improve the quality and leadership of the Kenyan sports sector. Transforming sports as an industry with a firm impact on socio-economic development will make the government give sports big significance and also entice the private business sector to invest their funds into sports.
Ms. Kristin Richter appreciated the opportunity to present to the Sport Sector, how sport can be used for development. She noted that in many countries value-based learning is systematically integrated in sports education and in the schooling of sports facilitators. Sports is recognized as a tool for initiating social change.
Mr Oloo noted that sports is an avenue for lots of developments in the country, adding that it is a tool that initiates social change; it is a global phenomenon, different countries converge to participate in sports competitions; it is a universal language, people do not need to speak the same language in order to play; it is cost effective, sports equipment is shared by many in a single game; it is a cross cutting development; and Outreach to all ethnicities, religions and socioeconomic classes. Kristin further added that S4D phase I has been implemented in Turkana where sports has been used as a tool for social cohesion, violence prevention and peace promotion. In Kilifi, Sports has been incorporated in work place and TVETs as a tool to develop soft skills and prevention of violence. In Marsabit sports has been as a tool to help the prevention of FGM, girls’ empowerment and a recreational facility for the pastoralist community.
The sector board emphasized on the need of incorporating sports at an early age to improve its sustainability. Sports equipment are important to make the child play noting that infrastructure is key quoting “If you don’t have a place to play you can’t win”. The board suggested that school pitches specifically in Nairobi County need to be rehabilitated as well as estate grounds, making reference to “Olympics Youth Centres” founded in the 1970’s which worked very well in promoting and nurturing talents but later died. Creating openings for exchange programme in sports is important for the purpose of creating a sustainable framework of sport development in the country.
The meeting resolved that sports for the purpose of social economic development should be the key selling out factor. KEPSA as the unifying, inclusive and proactive body of the private sector provides the platform for engagements through public private dialogue. The engagements will help in coming up with a sports sector that is well structured and presentable which will encourage more corporate to partner and participate in sports development. The structure will widen the scope for S4D, create an avenue for mutual cooperation for moving forward, empower the youth to acquire skills needed for development and go in line with achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).