Sport and socio-economic transformation in Kenya
Mwangi Peter Wanderi (Kenyatta, University, Nairobi, Kenya) [BIO] and Abel L. Toriola (Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa) [BIO]
Kenya is widely renowned for excellence in long distance races. The number of Kenyans who are being enrolled daily in athletic programs is steadily on the increase with world records constantly being broken by Kenyan athletes. Majority of these athletes hail from the Great Rift Valley region, neighboring Eldoret town and they have over the years, injected millions of Kenyan shillings that they have earned through sport into this town thus significantly transforming it to an ultra modern neighborhood in physical looks and business. Likewise, in Mathare, one of the largest slums of Nairobi, the establishment of Mathare Youths Sports Association (MYSA) has greatly contributed to molding the youths in the slum into socially and economically stable individuals. The recent political transformation in Kenya in the post-Kanu era has also seen the new government which took leadership in 2002 come up with new strategies aimed at promoting sporting excellence at international competitions. Unfortunately, many Kenyans are still very ignorant of the potential of sports in achieving full scale transformation and very little is known about the impact of such initiatives on the socio-economic transformation of Kenyan communities. The need to address these challenges has led to the formation of the “Sports-For-Life (Africa) Foundation” within the country. This paper discusses the opportunities, threats and challenges facing sport in the context of socio-economic transformation and development in Kenya and proffers possible solutions.
Key words: Socio–economic stability, socio–economic transformation, development, sports popularization, challenges, Kenya.
Patron: President of Austria, Dr. Heinz Fischer
KCTOS: Knowledge, Creativity and