How Athletics killed Football and Boxing in Kenya

Reuben Ndolo reminisces about the good old days before Kenyan boxing died.

Ndolo ni nongwe sana , nakumbuka tuli enda tona ya boxing Kayole he was the guest of honor the winner was given an envelope by ndolo , ndani ilikuwa rwabe ! the amount of boxing talent I saw wasted there was crazy very talented young men who went to become conductors ! Sijui kama kuna sport corrupt kama boxing !

Ndolo ni one of the cartel in professional boxing. Kameta ndio alimaliza amateur boxing.

I haven’t watched the video. Lakini I agree with the premise because I have been thinking the same. Athletics specifically distance running has killed other sports. In fact until recently long distance running killed sprinting. It is now being revived by Omanyala. For many years, officials completely ignored sprinters.

Now if you look at All Africa games for example , you find that Kenya only wins medals in distance running. Zamani Kenya would win medals in sprinting and many sports hockey, boxing, even weightlifting and others.

Too much emphasis on distance running. Because Kenya wins medals in distance running, the officials are happy to ignore other sports.

Sprinting has always been present but it’s extremely competitive. There are Kenyan runners in trials in sprints, just that they don’t perform well in time trials or get knocked out in preliminary heats. So it hasn’t been ignored. Problem is that we Kenyans watch very little sports outside big events. But if you do, you will see Kenyans in short races all the time.

There’s a lot of corruption in other sports and it kills their leagues. Long distance runners don’t depend on local leagues, and it’s the reason they are successful.

Sprinting, hurdling , field events is thoroughly ignored. In other countries, coaches are paid to go to the grassroots to search for raw talent.
Every primary school in Kenya has students who have great leaping ability, are good at backflips and front flips etc. This raw talent can be identified , nurtured and coached into high jumpers, pole vaulters, hurdlers, sprinters etc. Thats why Europeans do. For example Yelena Isinibaeva was discovered when she was participating in gymnastics and the coaches realized her talents were suitable for pole vault.

The IOC distributes US $4.2 billion to countries for youth development .
Yet in Kenya, instead of paying coaches to go the grassroots and find this talent, the top officials eat all the money. Instead of using that money to develop talent, it is eaten by the top officials. The little that is left is used for long distance runners. Thats why most African countries are useless at the Olympics. Kenya would be useless if not for distance runners.

We have no youth leagues. You can’t properly develop sports without those. So even coaches really have nothing to look for outside of running and football.