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Sports personalities urged to embrace sports banking

05 July 2013, 14:35 Kelvin Wanjohi

The government is working with various banks to encourage sports personalities in the country to embrace sports banking to guarantee good investments upon retirement.

Sports, Culture and Arts Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario said the government is concerned about the high number of sportsmen who languish in poverty despite having had successful careers.

The Cabinet Secretary who spoke after presenting awards to the Kenya Deaf Athletics team that participated in the world cup in Toronto, Canada, last year, said the government is committed to promoting sports in the country, noting that plans are underway to revive sports like cricket, hockey, beach football and basketball.

The Kenyan team at the World Deaf Athletics emerged 4th overall, out of 32 participating countries. The team bagged 4 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals. National Bank of Kenya awarded gold medalists Sh 300,000, silver medalists Sh 200,000 and bronze medalists Sh 100,000.

He said there was need for sportsmen to be guided and counselled on how to spend the money they get from sporting activities. Wario said that his ministry was contemplating measures that will provide solutions to the problem that continues to persist, especially among young athletes and soccer players.

The CS said sports banking is one of the measures they are contemplating on, adding that an agreement will soon be made after consultation with stakeholders.

“Sports banking will go a long way in ensuring our sportsmen have good life and investments once they retire from the fields,” he said.

The CS hailed the National Bank of Kenya who funded the team that won eleven medals in Toronto, urging the private sector to invest in development of sports.

Sports Commissioner Gordon Oluoch urged sports federations to wisely use the resources provided by sponsors in nurturing talent. He said embezzlement of funds has seen sponsors shy away from supporting various sports in the country.

National Bank Managing Director Munir Ahmed said they will continue to support and nurture talent as a way of promoting development.

He explained that sports, especially athletics, is the most important brand builder for Kenya and as such, “we will continue to support athletics and the nurturing of sports in the country,” he added.

The bank sponsored the Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya (DAAK) activities to the tune of KES 2 million and further catered for the awards to the medalists.

National Bank presented cash awards totaling Sh 2.3 million to the deaf athletes who garnered medals in the championships.

“We are proud to be associated with the impressive performance of our deaf athletes, and we will continue to sponsor various sports as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),” he said.

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