Kenya University Sports Federation Officials,
Honored Sports Men and Women,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to join you all at this year’s Kenya Universities Sports Federation Tournament. I take this early opportunity to congratulate all the teams for a sterling performance at various levels that have enabled you to reach the finals. I note with pride and appreciation that this tournament has been running annually for many years and Taita Taveta University (TTU) has been given yet another opportunity to open a new chapter of hosting the event post the covid-19 error.
I thank all the officials – past and present – who have made this event one of the sporting legacies in Universities history where talents can be identified and nurtured for the well-being of the Nation. I am indeed happy to be associated with you all. I say this because this is not the first time we are hosting this tournament as TTU. Indeed, we converged here in 2018, when we witnessed some great tournaments played by our students derived from various Universities in Kenya.
Ladies and Gentlemen, you may be asking yourself why Taita Taveta University is hosting the National tournament for the 2nd time; although this tournament has been held in other counties and Universities, Taita Taveta University provides a serene environment, abundant sporting facilities and totally unique platform for the sportsmen and women to compete comfortably in the field.
Taita Taveta University has hosted quite a number of competitions in this pavilion for organizations, schools and federations thus identifying ourselves as national in stature, attracting some of the best sporting men/women in the country.
It is encouraging to note that a total of 26 Universities with over 2000 participants are already here for the finals. This is a remarkable number of participants and a clear indication that the Vice-Chancellors across the country are positively supporting the sports function within their respective Institutions.
Indeed, I wish to call upon sports officers in the respective Universities to put measures in place with a view to ensuring that our National reputation in athletics is replicated in our Universities in all the sporting disciplines. In particular, there is an urgent need to support our student’s talents through the creation of linkages with clubs and international academies to ensure proper support and skills are instilled for talent acquisition, in return, our students will excel in the region, in the continent and beyond.
I want to pose a challenge to the KUSF organizing committee to be at the forefront of introducing other sports that have been ignored in the past in order to raise our National standards including reclaiming our lost glory in boxing.
As we do this, we must not lose sight of the need to encourage and motivate our students in order to sustain our reputation by maintaining discipline at all times.
As we seek to promote sports in the country, we must bear in mind that soccer, and indeed other sports disciplines, are no longer mere social events for recreation and entertainment but also forms part of learning and research for economic sustainability.
I want to sincerely appreciate the event sponsors which include Safaricom, Maghonyi Hotel – Voi, Comfort Hotel – Voi, ABSA and KCB Banks for the enormous contributions, you have indeed been a friend indeed; we will continue to be your trusted partner and we look forward to future collaborative engagement.
In a special way, I want to thank Safaricom PLC for the tremendous support, by being our total prize sponsor of Ksh. 250,000/- and Ksh.100,000/- in-kind through merchandise items that will be shared among all the teams represented here. We say Thank You!
Let me conclude by thanking both the KUSF and the local organizing committee, the sponsors, the referees and the wonderful team that has worked tirelessly to bring this event into reality.
I wish all the teams, competitors, sportsmen and women and their entire supporting Teams and indeed Taita Taveta University team all the best in this event. We look forward to safe and exhilarating sporting events that will inspire new generations of participants in the sport.
Finally, I urge all Kenyans to turn up in large numbers to enjoy this event as eager spectators across all the fields in various categories.
With those few remarks, it is my pleasure to officially open this iconic Universities sports finals.
Prof. Fred Simiyu Barasa, PhD
Taita Taveta University.