The County Assembly of Kakamega committee on Labour, Social Services, Sports ,Youth and Culture has benchmarked at the Kenya Academy of Sports (KAS) in Nairobi.
The committee, led by its chairperson Hon. Modesta Auka is on a mission to learn best practices in the management of sports and how to support the growth of the sports through establishment of sports academies to tap grass-roots level talents for elite performance.
“We want to take a leading role towards developing atleast three sports academies in our county to help increase the base of talents using skills to promote socio-economic development in various sport disciplines,” Hon. Auka said.
KAS is a semi-autonomous national government agency, established to manage sports training academies, promote research and develop talents in collaboration with institutions of higher learning, national sports organizations and other stakeholders.
County sports talent centres will be established to act as feeds to both the national and international arenas, which will absorb talented sports men and women identified at sub-county levels and nurtured as professional players.
The committee members were in agreement with the sports agency team that sports academies in counties will offer opportunities for young people to develop their talents, interests, and strengthen arrange of activities and initiatives.
The agency’s chief executive officer, Dr. Doreen Odhiambo said they were effectively utilizing the little resources available but was optimistic that partnership with county governments will help the agency achieve its goals by strengthening both governance and administration of sports activities across the country.
The Director for research at the agency, Mr. John Okwemba challenged members of county assemblies to allocate enough funds to promote sports academies in their respective counties.
“We are proud of Kakamega county because it is a hub for talents especially in soccer. With putting up of Bukhungu International stadium and efforts to sponsor local tournaments at sub-county levels it signals that the county government is committed to promoting sports," Mr. Okwemba said.
Members of the committee had the opportunity to visit the Talanta Hela Hub, which is set to be launched by Sports Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Ababu Namwamba. Talanta Hela Hub aims at promoting youth’s creativity and talents.