KSSSA prepare appeal after age cap setback
- The Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) has said it will challenge a court ruling that scraped the age cap at school championships
- The ruling, delivered on Thursday by the Mombasa High Court, declared age limit ceiling rule in school championships as discriminatory and unconstitutional
The Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) has said it will challenge a court ruling that scraped the age limit for students at school championships.
The ruling, delivered on Thursday by the Mombasa High Court, declared age limit ceiling rule in school championships as discriminatory and unconstitutional.
Justice Eric Ogola ruled that section 17 (iii) of the KSSSA constitution discriminates students who are aged above 19 years noting that provisions of the constitution of Kenya outlaw any discrimination in public bodies or institutions.
The KSSSA Secretary General David Ngugi has warned that the court’s decision potentially opens up a doorway back for mercenaries, which the governing body has fought to weed out of School Games.
Further, Ngugi feared that since similar rules are applied by the Federation of East Africa Secondary School Sports Association (FEASSSA), the decision will only be counter-productive for Kenyan teams.
“In my view it is wrong because it will be difficult to compete in East Africa and even in Africa games where the same rule is applied. We must have these rules because we will have many cases of cheating with schools even hiring people from outside to compete during school games,” Ngugi told Citizen Digital.
KSSSA under the Ministry of Education however, did not defend the petition despite being served with the suit documents by the petitioner and Ngugi says had they had been represented in court they would have won the case.
The school competition’s body and the Attorney General were sued by a parent whose daughter was barred from participating in school games due to the age limit issue.
Early this year, in a stack of new rules designed to stem age cheating and impersonation, KSSSA turned to National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) as its latest weapon to end the vice.
Schools were required to enter the student’s Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) onto a special team list alongside other details of students they intend to field at championships before they can be allowed to compete.
The students who are eligible to participate in this year’s competitions must be 19 years old and below or must be born on or after September 1 1999.
During the Kakamega County School Games that ended last weekend, Ematioli High School’s U16 football team was disqualified over illegibility after officials established 15 of its participating students were overage.
The County School Games chairman, Martin Waswa has condemned the ruling noting that it will kill fair competition especially for U16 matches.
“You can imagine the students of 14 years playing in the senior games ,how will it work? What is now the meaning of the birth certificate?”
-Additional reporting by Godfrey Ashiali
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