Govt to boost Deaf sports skills ahead of next Deaflympics cycle

CAXIAS, Brazil, May 14 – The Government of Kenya is committed to building capacity in a bid to sustain the country’s fortunes at the 2025 Summer Olympics to be held in Japan.

The bottom line, according to the State Department for Culture and Heritage Principal Secretary Josephta Mukobe, is to field a stronger, bigger and more experienced Deaf contingent for the next cycle of the Deaflympics.

Speaking from Caxius Do Sul, Brazil, where the Kenyan is represented in women’s football, athletics, handball and women’s basketball, Mukobe stressed the need for capacity building in all deaf sports to ensure that more teams reach qualifying standards well in time for 2025.

“Our distance runners have done well, but there are other sporting activities that we have not qualified. And so our role is to go back to the drawing board and identify the other sporting activities that are not not up to standard.

Principal Secretary of State for the Department of Culture and Heritage Josephta Mukobe speaking to the media in Caxias do Sul, Brazil during the 24th Summer Olympics after Kenya swept the top four spots in the men’s final of 10,000m. Photo/KELLY AYODI

“We will strive to educate the deaf community so that quality is injected into all disciplines ahead of the next cycle of the Games. So in 2025, we can have more disciplines entered by Team Kenya than the six we were competing in this edition,” Mukobe explained.

Mukobe expressed satisfaction with how the athletes performed, adding, “We came here to perform. We did not come to see the trees. Yes, we admire trees; this country is well populated with trees but our reason to come here is to win medals.

Kenya won silver in the women’s 4 X 400m relay at the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil. Photo/KELLY AYODI

“I am thrilled with the performance of the Kenyans, especially when we secured the top four spots in the 10,000m race. The Deaflympics show that Kenya takes all sports seriously and especially sports with disabled people.

Mukobe noted that the government wants people with disabilities to feel part of sports activities in the country.

“We took the initiative to identify and develop this Deaflympics team so that they could come and play internationally with other people with deaf disabilities. But we also have a long-term plan to inject quality and substance.

-Makau Chairman of the Sports Committee of the National Assembly-

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Kenya Athletics Team at Deaflympics in Brazil, posing photo with Culture and Heritage PS Josephta Mukobe, Patrick Makau who is the President of the National Sports and Tourism Assembly, Kenya Ambassador to Brazil Lemarron Kaanto as well as State Department of Sports Administration Secretary Josephine Onunga. Photo/KELLY AYODI

Patrick Makau, chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Sports, Culture and Tourism, on his part noted that the introduction of the Sports Fund has elevated sport to desirable levels.

Makau said: “We’ve seen progress in team management and funding. I’ve listened to most of the athletes and players and I’m glad they’re all in good spirits.”

Makau noted that Kenya is doing a lot to try to develop all sports at all levels

Photo/KELY AYODI

“There has been a significant growth of Deaflympics and Paralympics, and one thing I want to add is that in Parliament we have sponsored sign language, we are trying to adopt it to be taught as a basic language in primary schools, so that society can get used to using sign language and help the public embrace the deaf community. Because I think that around the world, sign language becomes the order of the day.

-Alex Isaboke reports from Caxias do Sul, Brazil-

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