Ladies and Gentlemen
I am delighted to join you this morning at this 39th Annual KECOSO Sports Championships here in Kakamega. I know that most of you travelled long distances for this activity and it is a demonstration of how important this event is to each one of you. I wish to thank the Kenya Communications Sports Organization (KECOSO) Governing Council for their preparations towards this important event. I also wish to thank various sponsors and partners who have for collaborated with the organizers to ensure the success of these games.
Ladies and gentlemen, in his classical book, “Hard Times” Charles Dickens says, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”
Certainly, I believe that this is why we are here today. Sometimes, we find ourselves bogged down with work routines that make us so dull that to the extent that we become lazy and neglect to engage in physical activities that can revitalize our health.
We have therefore come here to escape the office environment and engage outdoors in sporting activities that will rejuvenate our souls through the various games that have been organized.
These games also remind us how our individual efforts can be channeled towards a common goal by embracing our team members. A game such as football requires a lot of team work, while athletics will require strong individual effort. Others such as chess and scrabble will demand great strategy and mental exertion. Ultimately, the value of each of the specific games will transform your physical, mental and spiritual energy.
Kenya is globally regarded as a sporting nation due to our prowess in athletics. The Government therefore attaches a high value to sports and is ready to support and nurture officers who exhibit exceptional talent and skill. This is the reason why we have continuously committed resources towards supporting KECOSO.
We recognize the value that sporting activities adds to both the government and individual officers. Besides being recreational and fun activities that also offer a sense of relief and relaxation, sports enhance physical fitness, promotes good health, and improves intellectual functions as players engage in fast-calculated moves that infuse participants with the ability of strong decision-making.
It is therefore advantageous for the Government to promote sporting activities with the aim of enhancing public service delivery through a healthy, strong and reenergized workforce.
Ladies and gentlemen
As we congregate for these games, we cannot help but reflect on the road we have travelled. As a leading sports organization that brings together key Public Sector Communication entities under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Sports, Culture and heritage, KECOSO has been the glue that binds us together despite our diverse backgrounds.
Through the KECOSO, we have forged strong partnerships and fostered team spirit within our institutions. The games have enabled participants to challenge each other, strategize and share ideas even as they compete. This has been instrumental in improving and strengthening interpersonal and intergovernmental relations. We are proud that,for 40 years, the games have grown and produced global champions in all disciplines, who compete in the global arenas including the Olympic Games, World Athletics Championships, Commonwealth Games and the All Africa Games.
Although the general spirit of KECOSO is essentially to allow staff from various agencies who participate in the games to express themselves with ultimate goal of interaction and bonding, we hope to witness some of the highest quality performances in various categories.
To the athletes, certainly, this is the right avenue for you to channel your energy and vitality. It is an opportunity for you to connect and interact freely with fellow public officers from various ministries and agencies. I urge you to make the most of this wonderful event and embrace a spirit of true friendship towards your competitors.
As you know, working as a team also improves communication. The lack of communication has always been associated with delays in completing projects, assignments and development of solutions. Interacting in these games therefore, will enhance teamwork that promotes efficiency and productivity in delivery of public services.
Studies have actually demonstrated that the experience of engaging in team sports correlates with enhanced professional performance. Games act as morale boosters and rejuvenate enthusiasm among participants. Individuals participating in games therefore, are highly likely to perform better and significantly impact positively on service delivery of organizations.
As we open the games, we hope to encourage continued interest and stir up excitement among the sportsmen and women as well as the enthusiastic fans. I call on participants to engage in a fair game and uphold high standards of discipline.
We encourage participants to appreciate a spirit of fair play that acknowledges defeat and victory in equal measure. Perhaps next season we will be able to engage the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology witnessed at the World Cup, to assist where human eye becomes deficient.
Finally, I wish all the participants success and good health. May the best team win…but no matter what, we are all winners! With those remarks, it is now my pleasure to declare the 39th KECOSO Sports Championships officially open.