Best of 2018: Mixed Bag For NOCK As Reform Agenda Took Shape

Jan 03 - by Mutwiri Mutuota for sportpesa news

In the first full year under the administration of retired distance running legend, Paul Tergat, the exit of long serving Secretary General Francis Paul and challenges in constructing the new headquarters shaped the year

NOCK President, Paul Tergat (right) during the handover of power from his predecessor, Dr. Kipchoge Keino in September, 2017. PHOTO/File

  • Having taken charge of the local Olympics body in September 2017, 2018 offered the new NOCK administration its first litmus test and by the end of the year, an era had passed in the top echelons of the organisation
  • As the year drew to a close, the news of the passing of former NOCK chief, Charles Mukora, 83, on December 27 brought curtains down to one of the most flamboyant coaches and administrators in the history of Kenyan sport
  • The construction of the NOCK Plaza at the site of the old Olympics House in Upper Hill, Nairobi ran into difficulties with none of the firms engaged following the September 21 Extra Ordinary General Assembly presenting any offer



NAIROBI, Kenya- For the National Olympic Committee-Kenya (NOCK) 2018 was a mixed bag under the stewardship of retired distance running legend, Paul Tergat, who is in the process of initiating reforms at the previously scandal-riddled body.

Having taken charge of the local Olympics body in September 2017, 2018 offered the new NOCK administration its first litmus test and by the end of the year, an era had passed in the top echelons of the organisation.

In November, embattled long-serving Secretary General, Francis Kinyili Paul, stepped down from his role, taking a ‘leave of absence’ with namesake Francis Mutuku appointed the interim holder of the plum office.

Paul, one of the alleged masterminds of the shameful Rio 2016 Olympics scandal, was the only high ranking old guard official to survive the September 2017 elections that swept Tergat to power.

However, the ghosts of the Olympics fiasco that led to the clamour for reforms at NOCK after top administrators were accused of misappropriating money and kit meant for Team Kenya athletes refused to let go of Paul and the seasoned administrator opted to leave as the High Court case against him and co-accused former officials goes on.

Other bigwigs in the dock include ex-vice Presidents, Benjamin Ekumbo and Paul Ochieng’ as well as Stephen arap Soi who was the Chef-de-Mission to the Rio Olympics with all accused out on bail after denying the charges.

As the year drew to a close, the news of the passing of former NOCK chief, Charles Mukora, 83, on December 27 brought curtains down to one of the most flamboyant coaches and administrators in the history of Kenyan sport.

Mukora was forced to step down from the helm of the national Olympics body in 1999 following the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics and Sydney 2002 Olympics scandals where International Olympics Committee (IOC) Members were accused of accepting bribes to award the events to the United States and Australian cities.

Olympic movement

“NOCK has slowly but surely reclaimed its pole position as the institution mandated to champion the Olympic Movement ideals and serve our Kenyan athletes from all sports.

“This is not a destination but a process that we began one year ago with the singular and firm purpose and resolve to restore and, rebuild the image, capacity and resilience of NOCK to become a model sports body here in Kenya and globally,” Tergat noted in his remarks during the December Annual General Meeting held in Nairobi.

Notable achievements of NOCK in 2018 include providing limited support to federations under its umbrella in the following areas; air tickets to presidents and secretaries to travel to scheduled international and/or continental general meetings and provision of kit for events outside direct management of the body such as regional and continental competition.

NOCK also assisted affiliate bodies to clear goods donated by international federations, facilitating consultative meetings amongst officials with specific regard to leadership challenges and training on good governance.

The organisation moved to distribute old Nike kit that had been lying in stores for years to all affiliates with the implementation of a system where there is now a paper trail from the American sports apparel giants’ warehouse to the final recipient.

The acquisition and distribution of Nike kit was at the centre of the Rio scandal with officials accused of denying athletes gear that would later find its way to retail outlets or in some cases, managers arrested with boxes of the material in their homes.

“Beyond sufficiently catering for teams to major games, NOCK has also been able to provide federations in their participation of regional, continental and world events. The supplies for 2018 were ordered in 2017,” part of the annual report read.

The construction of the NOCK Plaza at the site of the old Olympics House in Upper Hill, Nairobi ran into difficulties with none of the firms engaged following the September 21 Extra Ordinary General Assembly presenting any offer.

Government bailout

Major banks approached to take up the current loan of the billion-shilling property and continue funding the project turned down the request with a proposal made for internal consideration of the viability of completing the building as currently designed proving to be uneconomical based on current market rates.

NOCK’s attempt to seek a Government bailout was rebuffed with the State declining to pay off the outstanding loan or the contractor or consider taking up part of the building as the ministry of sports headquarters.

Several firms, financial consultants and individuals were engaged to consider a joint-venture with NOCK but none presented a formal offer for consideration.

That left the Olympic body seeking to sell their land next to the Nairobi Southern bypass but after winning one of the cases with costs; another pending suit means it cannot raise funds through disposal of the prime asset until the hearing and determination of the matter.

Here is a summary of the results from the sporting events NOCK sent Kenyan athletes in 2018.

23rd WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES, PYEONGCHANG, CHINA- FEBRUARY

-Kenya was represented by one female athlete, Sabrina Simader, 19, who finished among the top 25 in the Ladies Super G (1:26.25) and Ladies Giant Slalom (1.23)

21st COMMONWEALTH GAMES, GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA-APRIL

-A team of 138 athletes in over eight disciplines represented the country at the event where 17 medals, four gold, seven silver and six bronze were won with athletics accounting for all but a bronze won in boxing.

3rd AFRICAN YOUTH GAMES, ALGIERS- JULY

-Kenya sent 47 athletes and 22 officials with the country finishing 10th out of 54 nations taking part with six gold, five silver and four bronze

3rd YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES, BUENOS AIRES-OCTOBER

-Kenya sent competitors in athletics, swimming and hockey with NOCK catering for the KSh26,362,460 budget for the games. The country won three gold, a silver and four bronze medals at the competition where the International Olympics Committee does not rank participating nations