The National Government has been urged to allocate more funds to support sporting activities at grass root level, to enable young people nurture their talents.
Harambee Stars Head Coach, Jacob Mulee and his GSU national counterpart, Moses Epolot, said less sporting activities are witnessed in rural areas as much attention is given to urban centers.
Mr Mulee said only young people in urban centers are lucky to get chances to participate in sports as many sponsors concentrate in towns, forgetting young people in rural areas.
Speaking at Kapsabet Boys High School, while closing a three-day Chesumei Sub- county tournament, the Head Coach, said many talents among young people go without being exploited as youth lack forums to participate in sporting activities.
“We have untapped talents in the grass root teams across the Country. The Ministry of Sports should invest more in sponsoring small teams and tournament games, as this will help in reaching out to the individual players to be accessed,” said Mr Mulee.
Mr Epolot noted that underfunded sports programs and substandard sports facilities have derailed ball games, adding that the government has focused on sustaining the existing national stadia, where more money have been channeled for regular maintenance, leaving behind the rest of the uncompleted projects at County level.
Mr Epolot said there are many training facilities across the Country, which have stalled due to management bureaucracies between Counties and the National Government.
“Completion of these projects would have offered a playing ground for young stars at grass root level to exhibit their talents,” stated Mr Epolot, while addressing over 200 football and volleyball players drawn from the community.
He urged the government to support merchandising of the sports, as a source of livelihoods among the jobless youth, just like any other innovative avenues in various sectors.
The 2021/2022 Government budget allocations for Sports, Arts and Social Development released by the National Treasury estimated that Sh15 billion would go for the sports men and women, which the national team’s coaches said it’s not enough to trickle down to the community sports programs of raising young stars.
Chesumei Member of Parliament, Wilson Kogo, said the NG-CDF Kitty will continue to sponsor such programs, adding that sports have prevented many youth in the region from venturing into crime, drugs and alcohol.
By Linet Wafula