New Safeguarding Policy for Kenyan Sport Launched
The Kenya Academy of Sports (KAS) is a State Corporation established under Section 34 of the Sports Act No. 25 of 2013 (Rev. 2019), with a mandate to pursue elite sports performance through the establishment and management of sports training academies; talent identification and development; training of sports technical and administration personnel; as well as conducting /promoting research in sports.
The Policy for Safeguarding in Sport was launched at the KAS 2nd International Sports Conference on June 15th, 2022. Dr Doreen Odhiambo, PhD, KAS Chief Executive Officer said "It is hoped that this document will ably enhance our practices towards safeguarding children and other vulnerable persons from harm and abuse in sports at the Academy and all its affiliates.
Kenya has been rocked recently by case of athlete abuse including the murders of two leading runners, Agnes Tirop and Damaris Muthee Mutua by their partners. There have also been concerns raised in Basketball, Volleyball and Swimming.
KAS were supported in the development of the policy by the GIZ (German Development Cooperation) Sport for Development programme and by International Working Group for the Safeguards for Children in Sport Member, Norman Brook.
The wellbeing of athletes was a consistent theme during the conference. Norman Brook presented on Safeguarding in Sport whilst Aaron Anslop from the Solomon Islands National Institute spoke on Taking a Holistic Approach to Athlete Talent Development that seeks a balance between development of the athlete as a person and as a performer.
Kenyan Olympian, Dennis Ombachi, spoke about his personal mental health challenges whilst playing international rugby. The Kenya rugby sevens international, who played at the 2016 Olympics, is taking a break from top-level sport after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which can cause extreme mood swings. Dr Rose Ngondi, Chromo Hospital Group, presented on Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health in Sports.