Kenya begins athlete vaccinations before Tokyo Olympics


Kenya begins athlete vaccinations before Tokyo Olympics
CS Amina watches as the COVID-19 vaccine is administered on an athlete. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

In Summary

  • The Ministry of Sports has kicked off a nationwide Covid-19 vaccination program that will see 3500 sportspersons and industry stakeholders inoculated over the next six days
  • The Sports CS Amina Mohamed said priority will be given to athletes, coaches and athletes handlers heading to Tokyo for the Olympic Games scheduled to begin on July 23

The Ministry of Sports has kicked off a nationwide Covid-19 vaccination program that will see 3500 sportspersons and industry stakeholders inoculated over the next six days.

The Sports CS Amina Mohamed said priority will be given to athletes, coaches and athletes handlers heading to Tokyo for the Olympic Games scheduled to begin on July 23.

“Today, we have commenced a nationwide vaccination program covering all our national Teams with specific priority to Teams participating in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Nairobi Metropolitan Services secured 3500 vaccines for this exercise,” Amina said in a statement.

Vaccination is not a mandatory requirement for athletes competing in the delayed Games but CS Amina said it was important to add a layer of protection around the delegation that will represent the country.

“All personnel working on the WRC/FIA Safari Rally Kenya, World Athletics Under- 20 Championships, World Athletics Continental Tour, the Rugby Barthes Cup, all Sports SAGAS, specifically Sports Kenya, the Kenya Academy of Sports, Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya, Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund and all Ministry of Sports frontline staffers,” she said.

With the latest suspension of all sports activities in the country, Amina admitted the industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors of the economy but assured sportspersons that the Ministry has not abandoned them.

“The sports and creative economies have been worst hit by the effects of the pandemic. Nevertheless, our athletes who are Kenya’s International Brand Ambassadors have shown incredible resilience and agility. They have observed all the Presidential and Ministry of Health Guidelines with admirable discipline which has been the hallmark of Kenya’s dominance in sports globally.

“Our collective policy at the Ministry has been to lead with the Athlete at the centre of all our operations. In this case, This formula of putting the athlete first has changed our operations at the Ministry and evidently, broadened Kenya’s command disciplines beyond athletics to Volleyball, Rugby, Basketball, Judo, Boxing, Canoeing, Motorsports, Tong il Modo, Kabaddi, Tae Kwon Do, Shooting and Paralympic sports,” she added.

Amina urged all sportsmen and women in the country to take the jab.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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