Africa-Press – Kenya. Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has encouraged youth in informal settlements to embrace ownership of Kenyan sports and play a proactive role in growing it.
Amina said the youth ought to fix their eyes on the future with a vision to take Kenya to the next pedestal by building upon the foundations on which the current leadership has set to improve sports standards in the country.
“You know I won’t be here (in the Ministry of Sports) forever and will be leaving soon. I hope that you young people will take over this job and step into our shoes. It doesn’t take long to prepare you to take over so you need to be ready,” she said.
The CS further believes Kenya can flex its muscles further in worldwide sports if youths in informal settlements are afforded opportunities to grow and showcase their talents.
She said this is only possible with the existence of sports infrastructures at the grassroots, which will provide them with infinite possibilities and life skills in addition to heightening their interest in sports.
“These projects steer away from our youths in the informal settlements from an undesirable life, full of substance abuse, to one that is full of hope and purpose. From here, there can emerge those who will represent the country in international competitions and take us even further in sports,” Amina said.
She was speaking on Friday afternoon at Riruta HGM Primary School in Kawangware where she launched a basketball court, funded and built by Jonathan Jackson Foundation.
The court is the second one constructed in Kawangware as part of ‘Bakee Mitaani’, a program that seeks to grow basketball in informal settlements and provide safe spaces for social change and positive interaction.
The first one was introduced in November last year in Gatina Primary School.
Speaking at the function, JJF founder Jonathan Jackson said the basketball court is a huge boost to their dream of seeing as many youths as possible excel in their talents.
“We want to really engage the youth much…much more. Our main drive is to help the youth develop business. Sports is something we feel is quite necessary to help youth develop business, engage and develop teamwork,” Jackson said.
The Nairobi City Stars owner added: “This is what I want to do…I want to create basketball groups in one community so we can have tournaments here. We will build maybe another two here before we move to build others around Nairobi.”
CS Amina promised the government would support them in this initiative, including supply of basketballs for training and playing.