KBF seeks to professionalise local league

By francis marangu
Oct 02, 2021

Kenya Basketball Federation, KBF, has jumpstarted plans for an ambitious programme to have the dwindling local league turn professional by 2015

Such efforts are majorly anchored on the requirements of the Sports Act 2012 which came to effect in August this year.

One of the key requirements is having all sports federations register afresh with the sports registrar within one year.

On Wednesday, the federation in conjunction with Pay TV company Supersport held a stakeholders workshop in Nairobi where the issue of professionalizing the league dominated discussions.

Supersport is KBFs official broadcast partner after signing an agreement in June for airing of league matches.

KbF seek league title sponsor 

In the short-term, the federation will source for the league’s title sponsor in the 2014 season as well as begin preparations early enough.

Cynthia Mumbo, KBFs Marketing Manager, said they will come up with a development framework and governance structure as the only thing to ensure there is transparency and accountability.

“Professionalism does not come easily but through effort. All this is very critical for us to make the league vibrant.”

Secretary General Vitalis Gode said the federation was ready to comply with the new act adding that a professionally run league would boost the welfare of players and coaches.

“We are looking forward to having a contracted body running the league. Teams have to be fully registered and players contracted which is all about being professional,” he said.

Auka Gecheo, SuperSport East Africa General Manager, said they have contributed immensely in helping the basketball league turn professional by offering unlimited TV airtime.

He reaffirmed their urge to see more live matches next season with possible action at the Makande gymnasium in Mombasa.

“We need to create stars and big matches which is why TV is here. Basketball in Kenya has a good opportunity of growing even bigger once we have a well established partnership with KBF.”

Coaches, players and referees who were present lauded the move as a positive step in the right direction. However, they called for full involvement in the affairs of the federation since they are key stakeholders.

“We have very many non-participants deciding on who are going to be our leaders. Players, coaches and referees are active participants and should be given an equal opportunity when it comes elections time,” said Arnold Muoki who plays for division one side World Hope.

He further called for separation of roles played by referees and coaches to avoid a conflict of interest. “Some of them are both coaches and at the same time referees. It is difficult to tell their impartiality when they make certain calls against certain teams.

Conflict of interest  

Strathmore University ladies coach Sylvia Kamau called for harmonization of league fixtures with other basketball tournaments to avoid unwarranted changes when the season is in progress. She gave examples of KECOSO and Inter-Bank games where most of the players and teams take part in.

“Additionally, academic calendar and international assignments must be considered when coming up with fixtures. This will prevent any interruptions when it is not necessary.”

The 2013 playoffs are expected to run for the entire month of November with men premier matches being broadcast live all through to the finals.

Division One will have semifinal and final matches aired while only finals for women premier will be aired.

Quarterfinals will run from November 1-3, semifinals from November 6-10 and finals from November 27-31 with four matches on card daily.

The quarterfinals will be played on a best-of-three series while semifinals and finals will be on a best-of-five series.