Intercontinental university games officially kicks off

The Seventh All Africa University Games kicked Friday today at the University of Nairobi Sports Grounds with 13 countries from different parts of Africa and 500 athletes participating.

The games kicked off at the Main Campus with sitting volleyball that involves students with physical challenges.

The games to be competed include soccer, karate, netball, swimming, table tennis, track and field events, American football, and volleyball.

Officiating the opening of the games, the Principal, Secretary, for Education, Dr. Belio Kipsang, pledged government support for sporting activities in educational institutions   in order to promote networking, healthy living and intercultural exchanges.

Dr. Kipsang stressed the importance of sports to the students saying that it brings great benefits to communities through improved health and education, rehabilitation, crime prevention, and gender equality.

According to the FASU President, Dr. Ralethe Malumbete, the objectives of the games are to promote sports, provide networking opportunities and promote cooperation among universities. The athletes are also accorded opportunities to compete at inter-university world games.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. George Magoha said the games will provide a forum for women to be able to formally take their place in this competitive world and cautioned athletes to set a good example by avoiding use of enhancements to win.

The cost of the eight-day games will be met by the University of Nairobi, participating teams and sponsors. Among the sponsors of the Games are Coca Cola, Techno, Pinewood, Nairobi Sports House, Chilly Willy and, Industrialist Manu Chandaria.

The venues of the games are: Main Campus (Basketball, Chess, Karate, Netball, Table Tennis, American Football, Handball and Sitting Volleyball), Kenya Science (Soccer and Badminton), Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani (Swimming) and the Nyayo National Stadium (Athletics) Nairobi Club (Tennis).

Those who graced the opening include officials of the  Federation of International University Sports (FISU) and intercontinental bodies from Europe and Asia, administrators from local universities and sports authorities and students. The local organizing team was chaired by Prof. Isaac Mbeche, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Affairs.

The games have been organized by the Federation of African Universities Sports (FASU). The participating teams are national teams and not individual universities.