Government announces Revamped sports fund and reward schemes.

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President William Ruto o Tuesday announced a raft of initiatives to enhance the livelihoods of Kenyan sportspersons and grow their talents to world class standards.

The initiatives include diplomatic passports for sportspersons, a revamp of the Sports Fund, modern sports facilities and restructured reward schemes to honour those who perform exceptionally at international competitions.

According to the head of state, diplomatic passports are necessary to ensure that Kenyan athletes need not worry about traveling outside for competitions but instead focus on their art and craft.

“I also want to ask the ministry concerned with immigration (the Ministry of Interior) that our sportsmen and women who excel in international competitions should be given diplomatic passports and other national documents. We are going to ensure that our athletes are able to travel around the world with ease,” the President said.

The President also underlined the need to have a sports fund exclusively for sports, arts and the creatives unlike the present day where it is used to fund other infrastructural projects.

“In recognition of what our athletes have done, we have had a policy shift. I have instructed the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Arts that we are moving away from crowding the Sports and Arts Fund and dedicate solely to matters sports, matters arts. We are going to look for alternative resources to fund the activities that have been using the Sports Funds,” President Ruto explained.

He added, “We have come up with a masterplan for sports infrastructure to help with the development of facilities, academies, training and mentorship programmes.”

The scheme will come as a relief to thousands of Kenyan sportsmen and women who have struggled to make it to international competitions owing to disadvantages associated with securing travel documents in time.

On his part, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba said the new revised scheme provides guidelines through the Talanta Hela initiative that will monetize the talents of our people and ensure money ends up in the pocket of those who bear talent.

President Ruto was speaking on Tuesday morning after a special breakfast with the world record holder for the women’s 1500m and 5000m Faith Kipyegon- where she was awarded Ksh.5 million in cash and gifted a new house worth ksh. 6million.

Other elite athletes included Commonwealth Games 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala among others.

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