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State plans to boost sports funding

The government has committed to allocating more funding to sporting activities, to support talent development at the grassroot level and enable young learners to nurture their talents and compete internationally.

The State Department for Basic Education, Principal Secretary, Belio Kipsang, says that the Ministry of Education (MOE) seeks to promote talent identification and nurturing of young talents from the grassroots to the international levels.

Dr. Kipsang assured that the Kenya Kwanza Administration, through its Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda and the Talanta Hela Initiative, is keen to support sportsmen and women to attain national and international recognition and earn a better living from their talents.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Field Coordination and Co-curricular Activities at MOE, Hassan Duale, during the opening ceremony of the primary school national championship at the Kisumu Boys on Thursday, the PS acknowledged the critical roles that sports and the arts play in the global scene.

Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), he said, fosters talent development by enabling young learners to realise holistic education and acquire skills, values, and knowledge that are fundamental to becoming a superstar sportsperson and that meet international standards.

“As MOE, we are passionately handling the responsibility of identifying and nurturing talents among learners at all levels to place them in the international space and earn lucrative income from their talents,” stated Dr. Kipsang.

He lauded stakeholders, including the Sports Arts and Social Development Fund, for supporting the ongoing National Term 2 Co-curricular activities taking place in Kisumu and Kakamega Counties.

The competitions have attracted the participation of some 756 pupils, including 421 girls and 335 boys, in the national primary school sports competitions in Kisumu. The national secondary school competitions taking place in Kakamega have attracted 1,264 students, including 592 girls and 672 boys competing in various disciplines.

Dr. Kipsang welcomed the joint initiative between the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and FIFA to roll out the Football for Schools programme, where over 2,000 model primary schools countrywide are set to receive footballs and training equipment.

Through the programme, he added, 50 primary school coaches drawn from across the nation are undergoing training to be equipped with the requisite football skills and become master trainers in their regions.

“The selected 2,000 model schools will be used to improve football skills at the grassroots to match international levels. This is in line with our bottom-up approach to prosperity. Kenya is set to become a football powerhouse when these initiatives pick up momentum,” he assured.

Dr. Kipsang further appealed to other likeminded and potential stakeholders to partner with the government in its bid to nurture young talents on the global stage.

The event was also attended by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Collins Oyuu, the Kenya Primary Schools Sports Association (KPDSSA) Chairman, Ben Ochieng’, Nyanza Regional Director of Education, Nelson Sifuna, among other senior government officials.

By Robert Ojwang’

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