SPEECH: THE 2019 ANNUAL ATHLETES CONFERENCE AT SIRIKWA HOTEL IN ELDORET, 6 TH DECEMBER,2019.

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REMARKS BY AMB. (DR) AMINA C MOHAMED, EGH, CAV, CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF SPORTS, CULTURE AND HERITAGE DURING THE 2019 ANNUAL ATHLETES CONFERENCE AT SIRIKWA HOTEL IN ELDORET, 6 TH DECEMBER,2019.
Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei, President, Athletics Kenya
H.E Meles Alem, Ambassador of the Federal The Republic of Ethiopia to Kenya

World Athletics Officials

Officials from the Athletics Integrity Unit
Invited dignitaries
Members of the Media
Distinguished Athletes
Ladies and Gentlemen

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I am delighted to join you this morning to close the 2019
Athletics Kenya Athletes Annual Conference which has
converged sports personalities and stakeholders in the
sports sector to discuss ways to cultivate, value and
protect integrity in sports.
The theme of the conference, “I choose integrity” is
both timely and apt as Kenya steps up measures towards
inculcating fair play and honesty in competition. It is
imperative, as a top brand in sports, to promote clean
sports among Kenyan athletes through sensitization on
the dangers of doping. As a start, I encourage you to read
and embrace the Anti-doping Act 2016, the Rules and
Regulations of Anti-doping and the revised World Anti-
Doping Code which comes into effect in 2021.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Unfortunately, Kenya has in recent times come under
global scrutiny due to increased cases of doping. While it
is factual that there probably aren’t harder working
athletes in the world, it is also true that a single case of
doping can ruin the reputation of the entire country. We
must therefore reclaim and retain our dignity and high

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esteem as one of Africa’s standard bearers in ethical
sporting.
You are the global leaders in athletics, as such, you are
held to the highest standards of integrity and
sportsmanship. Former U.S President Dwight D.
Eisenhower challenged those in pursuit of distinction in
the following terms, and I quote, “the supreme quality
for leadership is unquestionably, integrity. Without
it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it
is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or
in an office.”
I have, on several occasions, made it clear that the era of
only holding athletes responsible for doping is drawing to
an end. We must evaluate the entire ecosystem and hold
culpable athletes, trainers, managers, agents and medical
personnel to account.
We have commenced an evaluation of the Sports and
Anti-Doping Laws and propose that Athletes who fail anti-
doping tests carried out by the Anti-Doping Agency of
Kenya (ADAK) be barred from representing Kenya in any
competitions. This will promote positive values among
young and upcoming athletes, especially in schools, to
foster fair play.

Ladies and Gentlemen
Sports in general and Athletics in particular has played a
pivotal role in empowering many individual athletes and
their communities. My appeal to all sports organisations is
to support personnel and to encourage athletes to focus
on training and continuous self-improvement. It is critical
to advance a future perspective by investing in ventures
that will bring you income and maintain savings to sustain
your families even when your athletic days are over. That
is why, I applaud Athletics Kenya’s initiative to support the
establishment of an Athletes’ Welfare Association to drive
this Agenda forward.
The Ministry will unveil policies to provide a conducive
environment to fight doping, build pools of talent across
the country through the Sports Academy, reinforce
rewards by revising the Cash Awards Policy to reflect
current economic trends and initiate a mentorship
program to improve the general wellbeing of athletes and
athletic communities.
Ladies and Gentlemen

The Ministry remains committed to implementing the
Sports Act 2013, with a view of creating a stable
a governance structure that will support the long-term
growth of sports in the country. We are in the process of
reviewing the Sports Policy and other sports legal
instruments to align them with the Constitution of Kenya.
This will bring synergy to the entire sports scheme.
Towards this end, we will continue to facilitate the active
participation of Kenyan sportsmen and women in
regional, continental and international events. In order to
improve efficiency, I call on all Sports Organisations to
present their annual calendar of events to the Ministry on
or before 20 th December 2019 to allow proper and
adequate planning. Ad hoc requests for funding will not be
considered. A goal without a plan is just a wish.
Sports data reveals that countries with a significant
collection of talent, structured training modules and
proper sports governance structures top the Olympic
charts. The Kenya Academy of Sports although in its
nascent stages of development is a core element of our
future sports excellence. We will employ its capacity to tap
into the abundant talent of our youth and create a critical mass of athletes to compete for Team Kenya slots in
future events.

As part of our efforts to build training facilities, I have
tasked technical officers at the Ministry to collaborate with
the relevant stakeholders to spearhead the establishment
of the proposed Africa Athletics Development Centre in
collaboration with Moi University, Eldoret. This will afford a
great opportunity for athletes to benefit from high altitude
training as they prepare to compete in the middle- and long-
distance running.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
In preparation for the forthcoming U-20 World Athletics
Championships in Nairobi and the 2020 Olympic Games in
Tokyo, we have facilitated teams through qualification
rounds. I am reliably informed that a good number of
athletes have already attained the qualifying standards
and we will step up the process by supporting more
athletes and teams to qualify so as to increase our
chances of winning more medals than in the previous
Games.

Our aim is to institutionalize international competition
preparations by constituting a multi-agency team to
coordinate the different components at play during and in
the lead up to international competitions.
I urge you to embrace this approach because it will
strengthen our service delivery to you and in turn to the
people of Kenya. Our aim is to guarantee that the teams
we send to represent Kenya in these events are fully
facilitated, well kitted and rewarded.
The athlete remains the centre of the Ministry’s focus
during my tenure.

Asanteni sana and may God bless you all.

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