Connect with us

Sports

COVID-19: Kenyan athletes offered 12-day free online therapy

Published

on

Loading...

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – “I am stressed and depressed and can’t think straight anymore,” a sportsman, who will remain anonymous, posed to this writer in one of the many interactions over the last one week.

The mental situation of this sportsperson is just but a mirror of what the sports world is experiencing at this moment, now that competitions and events have been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the last two months they cannot do what they know best; going to the pitch to train and in the stadium to compete. For some, they have lost their income and this has more or less worsened the situation especially for those who entirely depend on their sporting talent to lay food on the table.

Two Kenyan sports psychologists have decided to step into the gap and stretch out their hands to help pull sportsmen and women who have found the going tough mentally and drag them into a safe place as the world battles to return to normalcy.

Under the Brain Frees Consultancy, Kanyali ilako, a former Kenyan top swimmer and Rowena Tirop, both holders of Masters in Sports Psychology are offering free online therapy sessions for sportspeople running from May 25 – June 5.

“There is a notion that athletes do not have mental illness or should not be scared of the dangers of getting into mental illness. They are human as well,” Tirop, who obtained her Masters in Sports and Exercise Psychology from the Brunel University in London said.

She added; “With the COVID-19 situation, it has presented a tough and challenging moment for sportspeople and there has been a conversation about mental health. We came together through the Brain Frees Consultancy and thought why not do something.”

“I have been in sports as a player and now a huge fun and I know how it feels.”

Tirop has been working closely with the Kenya Rugby Union and also has experience working with collegiate teams during her time studying in London.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Ilako, a double masters degree holder in the discipline from the University of Thessaly, Greece and University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, was part of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) inaugural online sports conference on mental health two weeks ago.

Loading...

Ilako has worked with Olympic swimmers in Finland, a League One football team in Greece, ITF EA training centre in Kenya and is an intellectual impairment classifier with the International Paralympic committee (IPC).

The two believe that they can give back to the sporting world at this time and especially for Kenyan sportsmen, most of who are struggling to keep their state of mind in the best shape.

They will offer free sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday for the next 12 days.

While most of professional sport all over Africa have psychology as an integral part of their business, not many pro teams in Kenya take it seriously, if at all they do. The most they come close to working on the players’ psychology is during pre-season when a few team building sessions here and there seek to prepare them mentally for the season.

But Tirop believes that Psychology has a huge role to play in developing sports and improving results.

“Teams and Federations should take a keen interest in psychology. The mind plays a big role in everything an athlete does. It improves the performance of the players when they are strong mentally,” she states.

Adding; “They need to learn to re-focus when they fail and bounce back and they also need to learn techniques to overcome challenges. People are different; some are strong willed, while some are not. Some will make a mistake on the pitch and struggle to move on from it and these are some of the areas we are looking at.”

Her dream is to see the field of Sports Psychology grow and more teams and Federations taking it up as an integral part of their organizations.

“We need to take sports more seriously and not just as a hobby,” Tirop advises.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

(Visited 40 times, 40 visits today)

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading

Sports

Ministry sets up team to prepare for sports resumption in the country

Published

on

Loading...

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 2 – The Ministry of Sports has set up a team led by Principal Secretary Joe Okudo to prepare for resumption of sports activities in the country once the COVID-19 situation is dealt with, Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has stated.

Sports activities were halted in the country in March with all public facilities closed as the country battled to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

And with European countries and a section of African nations slowly starting to open up their spaces for resumption of sports though under strict guidelines, Kenya has not been left behind with the Ministry constituting a machinery.

“We have constituted a team to look at it and they will be advising on when to open. The team is led by the PS and of course working closely with the Ministry of Health so that we ensure when we return we do so within safe parameters,” CS Amina said on Tuesday.

While all football league seasons have been cancelled, there is hope for some other sports. In rugby, the Kenya Cup was headed to the play-off stage and despite an earlier decision by the Union to cancel the season, clubs appealed and the decision was lifted.

The men and women hockey leagues were just getting started while the basketball league had been scheduled to start in April. In Athletics, the track season had just gunned off and last week, Athletics Kenya said they would be consulting with the government to set up a new calendar.

Kenya is set to host its first ever event since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic on June 11 when five athletes, anchored by 1500m World Champion Timothy Cheruiyot will compete against the Norwegian Ingebrigtsen brothers in a virtual race.

The Norwegian contingent will run in Oslo while Cheruiyot’s team will run at the Nyayo National Stadium where they have been training for the past one week.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa and Tunisia are among the first African countries to announce plans to resume sports with the COVID-19 situation slowly losing pace.

Loading...
Sports CS AMina Mohamed with Care Package founder Jackie Jan Mohamed

Amina spoke at the Nyayo National Stadium as she helped distribute food packages to women athletes from football, cricket, rugby and the Paralympics in partnership with Care Package foundation, run by former Cricket Kenya chief Jackie Jan Mohammed.

“It relieves some of the challenges they were facing of trying to meet some basic needs and we have got some good response with people coming on board. We would like to reach about 1,800 who are most vulnerable and so far we have reached almost 1,000,” said CS Amina.

Meanwhile, Jan Mohamed said they hoped to be doing the exercise every two weeks depending on whether they get increased funding from their partners.

“When the ministry approached us about athletes, I couldn’t say no. Sports is a passion I have had for a long time. What I am looking at is, depending on funding, we might turn around and tell the ministry that every two weeks, we will meet these same athletes, until we fight COVID-19,” she stated.

At the same time, Amina says they will continue with distribution of the monthly stimulus package to sportspeople, having started off last week with the Kenyan premier League players.

Amina says that so far, 1,300 athletes have received their first share of the 10,000 stimulus with 600 more having benefited over the weekend.

“We have received very good feedback and we want to thank the President for launching this package,” Mohamed noted.

(Visited 30 times, 30 visits today)

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading

Sports

1,800 athletes to get government upkeep package

Published

on

Loading...

By AYUMBA AYODI

The Sports Ministry is targeting 1,800 sportsmen and women in its Covids-19 financial stimulus package and food distribution across the country.

Sports cabinet secretary Amina Mohammed disclosed Tuesday that by last weekend, they had reached out to 600 sportsmen and women, who have received Sh10,000 each and food packages.

Amina rolled out the stimulus package last week with 12 Kenyan Premier League clubs being the first to benefit from the initial release of Sh20 million stimulus. The government has set aside Sh50 million to cushion sportsmen and women from Covid-19 effects. 

Amina was speaking when she presided over the distribution of food packages by Care Package Organisation to 200 sportswomen drawn from six disciplines at the Nyayo National Stadium.  

Amina, who commended Care Package and their other partners for the initiative, said they have so far received supporting totaling Sh 20 million from the private and public sectors towards the Covid-19 athletes support program.

“We shall continue with these initiatives until Covid-19 eases and the sporting calendar reopens,” said Amina, who was accompanied by Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo and Care Package founder Jackie Janmohammed.

Also present were Kenya Rugby Union (chairman) Oduor Gangla and National Paralympic Committee of Kenya president, Agnes Oluoch.

Loading...

Among the sportswomen who benefited were from Kenya Lionesses, Harambee Starlets, national cricket team, national deaf team and Paralympics.

“The packages could be small but we hope it will cushion them for some days and it’s my hope that more partners will come on board,” said Janmohammed, who was among Kenyans who were conferred with the Wazalendo Award on Madaraka Day by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Janmohammed said she would like all the athletes in the program to be receiving the food packages after every two weeks until Covid-19 is eradicated and the sporting calendar resumes.

“That will depend on how much funds are raised and I believe in sustainability. This shouldn’t be a one-off affair,” said Janmohamed adding that they have also reached out to 6,000 families in the last two months.

Gangla commended Care Package initiative and the government’s stimulus package that have seen the national team players benefiting. 

“Most of these players derive their livelihood from rugby and that has been disrupted. Every one of them is fighting to make ends meet,” said Gangla, who also thanked cubs that are supporting their respective players at these difficult times.

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading

Sports

FA unlikely to take action over peaceful anti-racism protests

Published

on

Loading...

LONDON, United Kingdom, Jun 2Premier League players are unlikely to face disciplinary action if they take a knee or make any other peaceful anti-discrimination protest when the English season resumes.

The shocking death of George Floyd, killed when a white police officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck in Minneapolis last week, has provoked riots and protests across the world.

Football stars, including Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, have shown support for the Black Lives Matter cause during matches.

The English Football Association will adopt a “common sense” approach to political gestures, slogans and statements if players or staff publicly back the movement once the Premier League restarts on June 17.

It is understood taking the knee after a goal, as Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram did on Sunday, would be unlikely to attract any sort of sanction.

“The FA strongly condemns discrimination of any kind and has endeavoured to ensure that football in England is both diverse and inclusive in recent years,” an FA statement said on Tuesday.

“Where any behaviours or gestures on the pitch that may constitute a breach of the Laws of the Game have to be assessed, they would be reviewed on a case by case basis with a common sense approach and understanding of their context.”

Loading...

Following the example of Liverpool on Monday, Chelsea and Newcastle players were the latest teams to take a knee in a show of solidarity during training sessions on Tuesday.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Newcastle defender DeAndre Yedlin, a United States international, posted a series of heartfelt tweets on the situation.

“A couple days after George Floyd’s death, my grandfather texted me and told me he’s glad that I am not living in the U.S. right now because he would fear for my life as a young black man,” he wrote.

“Every American needs to ask themselves, is there ‘liberty and justice for all’ and if their answer is yes, then they are part of the problem.

“In no way are we asking black lives to matter more than white lives. All we’re asking is we are seen as equal, as more than 3/5 of a man, as humans.”

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Comments

comments

Loading...
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Loading...
Advertisement
Loading...

Trending