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World Badminton Federation offers hope for local game in Kenya

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Kenya's Sammy Kioko during the Commonwealth Games
  • Kenya’s Badminton Federation is under suspension
  • NOCK will try to find a solution locally
  • NOCK is set to organize elections within three months

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya has convened a meeting with Kenya badminton players following their petition to be allowed to participate in local and international Games with a view to setting up processes towards resolving the long-standing wrangles in the federation.

This follows the greenlight given by the World Badminton Federation (WBF) to NOCK to intervene and initiate the election process within three months.

The top 16 players who played in the trials for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham were represented.

NOC-K Secretary General Francis Mutuku during an ANOC meeting two weeks ago met with representatives from WBF on the current state of the badminton in the country and urged the International Federation acquiesce on an initiative to help stop the closure and lack of development of the sport.

WBF agree to NOCK’s initiative to effect changes

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Badminton players during the meeting with NOCK

A letter dated November 17 sent by Thomas Lund, the Secretary General of the WBF stated the WBF Council agreed to NOC-K’s initiative to help see athletes allowed to participate in events, having been in the cold for two years and counting.

“The letter says the IF is in full support of its general principles and also conveyed its gratitude for our involvement in solving this matter.” said Mutuku.

At the same time, BWF emphasized on the importance for the new leadership to be elected through inclusive, fair and transparent elections, during which the whole badminton community of Kenya will be invited to participate.

Humphrey Kayange, NOC-K Athlete Representative, speaking after the meeting emphasized on the importance of athletes playing the game they love.

Been in talks with WBF

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NOCK’s Athletes Representative Humphrey Kayange

“As an athlete, the urge to play never stops. During the Birmingham Games, a player, Saumya Gupta wrote to BWF for a request to play and a question was raised of the whereabouts of other players. Since then, we have been in talks with BWF and finally we’ve made progress on this unfortunate situation.”

Sammy Sikoyo who made it to the Birmingham Games expressed his sigh of relief hearing the hopeful news after the successful meeting.

“I want all athletes to have a taste of that feeling, with all the Games coming up next year, I’d like my peers to head back to their rackets and play, that’s every athlete’s dream.”

With an immediate process and a pathway towards elections within three months having been guided with BWF, the players will be looking to play at the Africa Games come 4th-19th August 2022 in Ghana for Africa’s greatest chance to qualify for Paris 2024.

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