Speech By Amb. (Dr.) Amina C. Mohamed, Egh, Cav, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry Of Sports, Culture And Heritage, During An Engagement Meeting With Athletics Veterans And Nock Food Distribution Flag-off, Held At The Nyayo National Stadium, 25th June 2020, 10.00 A.M.
- Hon Hassan Noor Hassan, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage
- Gen. (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei, Chairman SASDF and AK
- Shadrack Maluki- 1st Deputy President of NOC-K
- Nderitu Gikaria – President KNSC
- Agnes Oluoch – President KNPC
- NOC-K Executive Members
- Our Veteran Athletes,
- Members of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over the years, Kenya has participated in major international championships including Regional, Continental and World championships such as Commonwealth, Olympic Games and Paralympics. It is my pleasure to meet and interact with some of the veterans who flew the Kenyan flag around the globe. You are indeed our true heroes and heroines. We celebrate you. For all the rest who are spread all over Kenya, we salute and recognize you. I also recognize some of the U20 athletes present here today.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact negatively on many people across the globe. It is more difficult for those of us with less or no sources of income. I am aware that there are sports veterans who have been affected by the effects of the pandemic.
Last month, my Ministry commenced a stimulus package for the most-in-need athletes in our national teams. I am glad to report that we have so far reached 2,400 athletes. At the same time, we called out its strategic partners and stakeholders to support this exercise by reaching out to the category of athletes who may not benefit from the Governments’ intervention due to scarce resources.
Kenya National Sports Council, NOCK and Kenya National Paralympic Committee are some of our key stakeholders that have heeded to our call and mobilized resources to support most-in-need athletes. I, therefore, applaud NOCK for identifying most-in-need veteran athletes across the country to benefit for their program. The Ministry is engaging with NOCK to explore the possibility of cushioning the veterans within its stimulus package.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As we flag off this food packages to be distributed across the country, we recognize the need to strengthen social security of our athletes; now than any other time later. My Ministry is aware that the retirement process for most of our athletes is often characterized by worry, distress and trauma amongst athletes. Indeed, adaptation and adjustments into their new lifestyles has been a big challenge to some of them. This has become a familiar scenario that needs to be reversed.
To deal with this situation, the Ministry in collaboration with stakeholders is currently in process of developing a policy framework that seeks to cushion our athletes from the challenges associated with retirement. Some of the proposals being considered include establishment of a pension fund for our athletes, the development of a dual career support program that will allow athletes complete their tertiary education while getting ready to perform at elite sports levels. This will ensure our athletes acquire other skills that can be used in retirement. The Kenya Academy of Sports will also develop and roll out a relevant curriculum to address these challenges.
We have also commenced the process of establishing and maintaining an integrated Sports management information system that will enable us to maintain data of all our athletes (active and retired) undertake tracer studies and provide timely, targeted support and interventions.
I wish to thank all the Ministry’s partners who have come through to support most-in-need active and retired athletes. We continue to call upon other partners to come on board. We appreciate all initiatives that are being undertaken by other well-wishers for our sportspersons.