CAXIAS, Brazil, May 14 – The Government of Kenya is determined to build capacity in a bid to support the country’s fortunes at the 2025 Summer Olympics to be held in Japan.
The essence, according to Principal Secretary, State Department for Culture and Heritage, Josephta Mukobe, is to present a stronger, bigger and more experienced Deaf contingent for the next Deaflympics cycle.
Speaking from Caxius Do Sul, Brazil where Kenyan is being represented in women’s soccer, athletics, handball and basketball, Mukobe underscored the need to build capacity across all Deaf sports to ensure that more teams attain qualifying standards well in time for 2025.
“Our long-distance runners have done well, but there are other sporting activities that we did not qualify. And so, our role is to go back to the drawing board and identify those other sporting activities that are not up to standard.”
“We will strive to train the Deaf community so that quality is injected to all disciplines ahead of the the next cycle of the Games. So come 2025, we can have more disciplines entered by Team Kenya than just the six that we were participating in at this edition,” explained Mukobe.
Mukobe expressed satisfaction in the manner in which the athletes have performed, adding: “We came here to perform. We didn’t come to look at the trees. Yes, we are admiring the trees; this country is well populated with trees but our reason for coming here is to win medals.”
“I’m excited about the performance of Kenyans, especially when we clinched the first four positions in the 10,000m race. The Deaflympics goes to show that Kenya takes all sports seriously and specifically sports with persons with disability.”
Mukobe noted that the Government wants persons with disability to feel part and parcel of sporting activities in the country.
“We have taken the initiative upon ourselves to identify and develop this Deaflympics team so that they can come and play internationally with other people who are facing Deaf disability. But we also have a long-term plan to inject quality and substance.”
-Makau Chair National Assembly Sports Committee-
Patrick Makau, Chairman of the National Assembly Sports, Culture and Tourism Committee on his part noted that the introduction of the Sports Fund has elevated sport to desirable levels.
Makau said: “We have seen progress in how teams are managed and how they are funded, I listened to most of the athletes and players and I’m glad that they are all in high spirits.”
Makau noted that Kenya is doing a lot in terms of trying to develop all sports across the board
“There has been significant growth in Deaflympics and Paralympics, and one thing I want to add is that in Parliament we did sponsor Sign Language, we are trying to embrace it to be taught as a basic language in Primary Schools, so that the society can get used to the use of Sign Language and help the public embrace Deaf community. Because I think the world over, Sign Language is becoming the order of the day.”
-Alex Isaboke is reporting from Caxias do Sul, Brazil-