NOCK to KRU 'reconsider Kenya Lioness inclusion', KBL boosts Olympic kitty

By evelyn watta
Dec 17, 2021
  • KBL Sales Director Kimani Mwaura (L) and KBL Marketing Director John Williams (R) handsover a cheque of Kshs 21m to NOCK chairman Kipchoge Keino and Catherine Ndereba(centre).(Photo:Shutterspeed)

The National Olympics Committee of Kenya, NOCK hopes that the Kenya Rugby Union, KRU can reconsider the Kenya Lionesses inclusion for Rio 2016 based on the team’s strength and potential performance.

NOCK Secretary General Francis Paul said they were excited by the team’s inclusion for next years’ games in place of South Africa, but would seek a honest review of the team’s programme with KRU and their medal prospects in Brazil.

“This is not about the budget and there should be no worry on the finances to cover the team preparations and participation as they are fully in our plans for now,” Paul said, responding to concerns by the KRU chairman Richard Omwela, who has admitted there is a lot of work to be done on the team ahead of the games and early preparations would be key.

Paul confirmed that the Ksh.310 budget announced for the team Kenya’s qualification, training, travel and participation in Brazil factored in the national women’s hockey team which missed qualifications and could therefore cover the Kenya Lioness.

“We also have our reservations based on the team’s strength and it's participation. We will talk to them(KRU)and express our concerns and if they still insist on going then we shall let them and support them,” he added.

South Africa qualified from the continental qualifier but their Olympic committee SASCOC, does not consider Pan-African qualifying tournaments as quality events for teams to qualify from and prefer automatic qualifications at world events.

SASCOC also withdrew their national hockey teams for the same reasons.

KBL commits 71m for team Kenya 

It could be the same reasoning NOCK who unfortunately have no set standard for qualifications of teams and this concern is likely to be met with opposition.

Kenya Breweries Limited has boosted NOCK’s Rio budget with a direct cash injection of Ksh. 21 million.

The Brewer also announced a further Ksh. 50 which will go towards campaigns and advertisements to rally Kenyans to support team Kenya.

KBL Marketing Director John Williams said the partnership will enhance the team preparations to the Olympics and also offer Kenyans various occasions to support the team.

“For us the decision to partner with NOCK for Rio was very easy as it aligns with our Team Kenya campaign, a campaign that seeks to celebrate Kenyans for their accomplishments in whichever sphere of life they attain the achievements,”Willams before handing over he cheque to NOCK chairman Dr Kipchoge Keino.

NOCK has so far raised Ksh.36 as they await the governments boost to the games. Oxygen8 Group, provider of integrated mobile and voice solutions put in Ksh.15.

Keino hopes that part of the budget can be used in sensitisation seminars for all the athletes bound to Rio on anti-doping matters.