Kisumu County has recorded impressive infrastructural development giving it an impetus to host the 9th edition of the Kenya Inter-County Sports and Cultural Association (KICOSCA) games in January 2023.
The booming hospitality sector coupled with good transport connectivity by air, road and rail as well as the establishment of Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Center and Moi Stadium are a few of the infrastructural development that gave Kisumu an edge to qualify to host the annual tournament.
Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o who has been crowned as patron of the KICOSCA games, exuded confidence that Kisumu is well prepared to deliver historical competitions.
“We are ready for the games and a committee working on the preparations has been constituted with strict deadlines to ensure this will be the best games ever in the history of KICOSCA,” he assured.
Nyong’o was speaking during the official handing over ceremony of KICOSCA tools of power in Kisumu on Thursday. The event was graced by the outgoing patron Ms. Cecily Mbarire, Governor of Embu and her West Pokot counterpart Mr. Simon Kachapin.
Nyong’o stated that Kisumu basks on its pride in hosting conferences of international profile like the Africities summit that attracted over 11,000 delegates from across the world.
“We have identified the venues and hotel facilities that will offer accommodation to participants in a bid to make the mega sports event a success,” he assured as the county prepares to host over 8,000 visitors during the event.
The inter-county games, Nyong’o stated, provide county staff with an avenue to interact as they compete in ball games with the objective to enhance national cohesion, teamwork, talent development and benchmarking on best devolution practices.
Embu County through the leadership of Governor Martin Wambora successfully hosted the 8th edition of the KICOSCA competitions in 2021 as the nation was recovering from the adverse effects of Covid 19.
While handing over the chain of power and peace torch to Kisumu Governor, Mbarire said the honour empowers Nyong’o and his administration to spearhead the forthcoming KICOSCA tournament set to run from 14th to 21st January.
“We hope that Kisumu County will raise the bar of these games even higher as we intend to fully operationalize KICOSCA activities after a break occasioned by Covid 19 pandemic,” said Mbarire.
Governor Kachapin, who doubles as the chair of the Gender, Youth, Culture, Sports and Social Service committee at the Council of Governors while speaking at the event reiterated that KICOSCA games have been instrumental for the county governments to network and share ideas for an enhanced relationship.
“Sports are not meant for leisure alone. It is also a tool to transform lives and a driver for transformative change in society. These competitions have made county workers develop healthy physical and mental well-being that promotes productivity at places of work and make the participants lead lives full of satisfaction,” said Kachapin.
The first edition which was held in Nairobi in 2013 attracted 25 counties that participated in various disciplines of sports and culture. So far, 35 member counties out of the 47 counties have subscribed to take part in Kisumu’s edition.
Kachapin challenged the county bosses across the country to endeavour in putting up infrastructural developments to attract the inter-county games and enhance the participation of all counties in such activities.
“Each county has an opportunity to build capacity on sports within their governments to help nurture local talents,” he stated.
The national chair of the KICOSCA games Mr. Peter Ogalo said that adequate accommodation facilities, social amenities, and modern sports infrastructure are key elements to hosting the competitions.
The event is sponsored by Kenya Commercial Bank, Posta Kenya, and Safaricom in collaboration with the County governments.
By Robert Ojwang’