Voice of Sport

Gold winning team, volleyball federation a cut above the rest of murky sporting bodies in country

Kioni and KVF must move quickly to be the first to run sport lawfully; it is the least the hard working volleyball players, sponsors and important Wananchi followers can expect


KENYA’S most successful sports team is the Women’s Volleyball side known as the Malkia Strikers, thrilling winners of the Gold medal at the just-ended African Games in Brazzaville. The outfit was mainly a second string, the senior players unavailable because they were away in Japan playing in the World Cup.

Kenyan women are nine-time African champions, serial African representatives in the World Cup and are bidding to return to the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil next year. They are a fabulous team. Their achievements are only now beginning to be matched by material and moral support of compatriots, Government and the corporate world.

Role model

The Kenya Volleyball Federation [KVF] and its chairman, Waithaka Kioni, have done remarkably well in steering the game to the right direction. They should serve as good examples to national sports association committees that are indeed a hindrance to development. Which is why Kioni must expediently move to make sure that KVF becomes a role model by complying with the laws of the country; operating by every word of the [Kenya] Sports Act which is the law in our country.

Citizens do not have the luxury of breaking the law when they deem obeying it to be ‘mere discomfort’. Sometime back, KVF, in fact, through their chairman, Kioni, said they needed time to do all that is necessary so that they align themselves with the Sports Act. Everyone understood that. But the fact is, KVF may have been taking their “sweet time” just like other rogue organisations, which are so disorganised and lacking in focus and credibility that they in fact want to live lawless.

Olive branch

Someone eventually took KVF to the arbiters wanting them to declare the federation illegal and to not be recognized by the Registrar of Sports. The Sports Tribunal has ruled that it cannot declare Kioni’s lack of having made sure his federation complies with the Sports Act as having been careless. The KVF have received an olive branch, literally being asked to shape up; and quickly.

“…The tribunal cannot declare the current leadership of KVF out of office nor appoint a caretaker committee for the reason that the non-transition and non-registration is not for inexplicable reasons.” There is an understandable reason why KVF have not complied.

Demonstrate

Kioni and KVF are working well for volleyball in the country. Wananchi know that and that is why they preciously embrace the Malkia Strikers who bring smiles to their faces by winning constantly at a higher level. Every mwananchi wishes them well. They want more corporate to emulate the National Oil Company, Kenya [NOCK] Limited who finance the Malkia Strikers and other organisation that support Kenya volleyball, such the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company, Co-operative Bank, Post Bank, Kenya Pipeline, Kenya Prisons, Kenya Defence Forces, Kenya Police, Kenya Forest Service, etc to continue doing so. In turn KVF must demonstrate continued integrity, transparency and respect of country’s laws.

Many Kenyan sports organisations are incapable of running themselves as commendably as KVF does. Some, because of being run by rogues, have seen their financial sponsors running away and prospective ones shutting doors on them. Volleyball is virtually a lone sport standing. No wonder they were the only team of an organisation that could win a Gold medal in Brazzaville, despite the attendance of very many.

Non-existent

With a deadline of August 1 2014, sports organisations were supposed to have constituted themselves under the Sports Act. For example, their branches were supposed to follow the County boundaries and the minimum representation being in 24 counties. Some, like rugby football, football, hockey, cricket, for instance still want to hold elections under amorphous and unrecognised “provinces” which no longer exist in the country.

Kioni and KVF must move quickly to be the first to run sport lawfully. It is the least the hard working volleyball players, important Wananchi followers can expect. In an act of great responsibility, the Sports Tribunal has said it avoided to order the current office bearers of KVF to vacate office and a caretaker committee put in place to run volleyball affairs because, it said, “we consider the consequences to the extent of the current holders vacating office and putting in place a caretaker committee would be harsh and more adversarial.”

But, the country, the sponsors and least of all the Sports Tribunal, the Sports Registrar, the Sports Fund and Sports Kenya (from KVF and volleyball teams should expect financial and technical assistance in the future) cannot wait forever for Kioni and his committee to get their act together.

KVF will be way ahead of the rest,  and setting a good example,  when they embark of democratically putting in place affiliate governing bodies of the sport in all the counties in the country; because it one game that is played in every corner of the nation.

 

The Gold medal winning Kenya team in Brazzaville:

1. Joy Luseneka

2. Rose Magoi

3. Anne Lowen

4. Loice Jepkosgei

7. Leonida Kasaya

8. Violet Makuto

10. Judith Tarus

11. Naomi Too

13. Joan Jelagat

17. Gaudencia Makokha

19. Edith Wisa Mukuvilani

Assistant coach – Joseph Barasa

Assistant coach – Esther Jepkosgei

Head coach – Paul Gitau