The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) is set to host a water sports competition along Lake Victoria in Busia County on a date to be announced soon.
This was disclosed by the NOC-K Secretary General, Francis Mutuku, following a courtesy call on Busia County Governor, H.E. Dr. Paul Otuoma, where NOC-K appraised the Governor about its vision to play an active role under the national Blue Economy drive.
“We had a successful inaugural Beach Games recently in Kilifi County, where over 700 athletes converged for a festival of conventional and cultural beach sports events.
The event gave us a major inspiration to further these sports that combine the informality and vibrancy of beaches along oceans, seas, lakes and, even rivers to attract a very youthful and engaging audience.
This is a value-add to the national Blue Economy exploitation objective”, noted Mutuku.
The upcoming Water Sports competition in western Kenya is a continuation of NOC-K’s ongoing strategy to build and entrench beneficial collaborations with counties aimed at benefiting athletes’ development and success.
The drive to expand into Beach and Water sports aligns with international trends, where the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) at the global level and Africa’s, ANOCA, will be hosting their second edition of the Beach Games in Hammamet, Tunisia and Bali, Indonesia in June and August this year, respectively.
Further, NOC-K seeks to achieve in this sustainable sports endeavour, among others, the following key objectives:
- Spread sports to and, rejuvenate the same at the county level
- Enhance collaborations with sports federations through integrated approach to sports events
- Grow Beach and Water sports as part of our national sporting programmes
- Promote sports tourism and the Blue economy.
Busia County Governor, Dr. Otuoma lauded NOC-K for considering his county for the water sports and the opportunity for his county to showcase its advanced hospitality industry, besides gaining from knowledge transfer to the grassroots through such collaborations.
He observed that athletes from the grassroots will be inspired to pursue their dreams to the hallmark level of the Olympics.
The Busia edition of the water-based competition will feature water sports events, with a significant integration of the local community events and a few demonstration ones as listed below.
This follows a technical assessment of the venues, where the water level was noted to have risen substantially following the heavy rains which has covered the target beaches venues.
- Open Water swimming
- Boat racing
- Hill/Mountain Climbing
- 3X3 Basketball