- Kilifi county has no public sports ground
- Public sporting facilities in the County in dire need of facelift
Lack of sports public sports grounds in Kilifi County has been blamed on land grabbers which has left the County with no land for the sector.
Residents are now calling on the county government to commence repossessing grabbed public sports grounds.
Speaking during the finals of the Oscar Wanje football tournament at Mere grounds in Ganda ward, Malindi Sub County, residents who turned up to watch the matches also challenged the county government to invest in nurturing talent for various sporting activities and also develop modern stadia.
Mr Said Shaban now wants the County and National governments to consider giving players on long term engagements hence creating employment to thousands of youth not only in Kilifi County but the whole country.
He added that few remaining public sporting facilities in the County were in dire need of a facelift and that talent recognition should be anchored in the constitution.
Mr Karisa Ngowa said that the local teams should also be supported into a county league to ensure the game continues past the tournaments sponsored by politicians.
The Malindi Sub County Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chairman Tom Lang’o also challenged the County government to enable the County teams to compete with ease by shouldering financial obligations that teams go through.
Ganda ward Member of County Assembly (MCA) Oscar Wanje who organized the event said that the upgrading of the Mere sports grounds will soon start since the County has already set aside Sh. 7 million in the supplementary budget to kick start the work.
The Chief Officer for Sports in the County, Naftal Owino said that the County government through the department of sports had introduced a module to recognize sports in the county dubbed Identify Recruit Train Recognize and Reward (IRTRR) that will see sportsmen and women get uplifted.
The County has introduced medals to recognize exemplary talents in various sports too.
The County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for education said that the construction of the first Kilifi County Sports Complex was in the pipeline and money to start the project has already been factored in the supplementary budget.
A host of MCAs who attended the occasion led by Kakuyuni ward MCA Maurice Hinzano, nominated MCA Betty Kache, Ganze MCA Karisa Ngirani and Malindi town ward MCA Rashid Odhiambo said that they will pass bills in the assembly that will ensure more funds are set in the budget to identify and nurture sports in the County.
The winners in the tournament got Sh. 20,000 with uniforms and the first runner up got Sh. 10,000 with uniforms while the second runners up got Sh. 5,000. Also awarded with medals were the best coach, best player and best scorer among others.