It is well-known that many wananchi are devoted aficionados of football in the local sporting arena.
This probably explains the reason why sponsors almost line-up in huge numbers to support local football.
Having said this though, it has been disappointing to see that the enormous financial backing given to football over the years has not been matched by success on the pitch, save for a few rare feats of achievement.
Meanwhile, during this golden period, at least in financial terms for football, low-profile sports on the domestic scene have really suffered, especially from lack of sponsorship.
Considering that the largest chunks of funds were being ploughed into local football, this is not surprising. Nevertheless, in spite of this major stumbling block, some low-profile sports have somehow managed to record success, against great odds.
For instance, the national women’s netball team, affectionately dubbed the ‘Taifa Queens, were responsible for the only medal (silver) that the country won at last year’s prestigious All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.
In the same admirable vein, the national women’s golf team retained the East and Central Africa Challenge title in convincing fashion last year. All this then seems to suggest that there is boundless potential for low-profile sports to achieve even greater success if only more support is given to them.
So, towards that end, I would like to propose a few ideas which hopefully will kick-start a national conversation about how we can improve the fortunes of such sports.
For starters, the local sports fraternity could come together and set targets of the levels of improved sponsorship they would like to see supporting low-profile sports within the next five-to-ten years.
These targets though mean that concerted and determined efforts would have to be made to seek and attract sponsorship within this period.
Another idea could be for local sports stakeholders to launch an aggressive campaign to promote low-profile sports at the grassroots level, where it seems the appeal of these sports has never really fired the imagination. I hasten to add that different quarters may very well have better ideas than the humble efforts suggested in this discussion.
The aim is to get a debate going on how we can revive low-profile sports in the country
Lloyd Elipokea is a sports