Swimming stakeholders across the country have appealed to the Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, the Arts and Sports Ababu Namwamba to rescue Kenya from the looming ban by the World Aquatics ahead of the World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships whWorld Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships which will will get underway next Monday, 4 September, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Israel.
According to the Chairperson Kiambu County Aquatics Association Stanley Kaberu,Kenya is likely not to be represented by any athlete in Israel because of its failure to conduct elections a few months ago in conformity with rules and regulations of the global body.
“My appeal to the good CS Ababu Namwamba is that he should intervene and restore order and sanity in the wrangles bedeviling Kenya Aquatics Federation — formerly called Kenya Swimming Federation (KSF) because as things stand our youngsters are not going to Israel despite preparing well through thorough prior training in the hands of our able local coaches.Swimming as a sport in Kenya is doing very well because there’s much potential the only undoing is a few people who are ever in courts submitting petitions to undermine growth of the game” he said.
Two weeks ago,the World Aquatics Federation voted to maintain Kenya’s suspension from world swimming after the country failed to conduct elections as was earlier agreed.
In a letter addressed to the chair of Kenya Aquatics Stabilisation Committee, Jace Naidoo, the bureau noted that Kenya’s stay in the swimming cold continues.
“The World Aquatics Bureau met to discuss these concerns and has determined to maintain the current suspension in place and with this, exclude Kenya from any activity within World Aquatics, including participation in its events,” World Aquatics boss Brent Nowicki affirmed.
The longwinding back-and-forth in Kenyan swimming goes back to 2019 when the country was suspended by the world body for failure to hold national elections within the October 30 deadline as had been stipulated.
Kaberu said that this could be a great opportunity for Kenya to advertise itself globally through good performance by its representatives in the forthcoming championships.
“The World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships have served as a launching pad for some of the best swimmers in the world to get their first taste of international racing. This year’s championships are soon coming to Netanya, Israel with a loaded field of some of the best 18-and-under swimmers in the world.Kenya was seeking to use this moment to gain international exposure and showcase what our swimmers are capable of doing best” he added
The meet will be held at the Wingate Institute in Netanya, a training facility that has produced some of the best athletes in Israel. The facility hosted the 2015 European Short Course Swimming Championships.
Last year, the World Juniors were held in Lima, Peru, where world record holder David Popovici closed out his junior career in style with three gold medals and a silver, while Portugal’s Diogo Ribeiro set the world junior record in the 50m butterfly.