Our role as the sports department at the Kisumu National Polytechnic is organizing sports activities for students and occasionally the staff. We are members of Kenya Technical Training Sports Association (KETISA), which brings together technical institutions and meets termly for different sports activities. In preparation for KETISA games we normally hold internal and external tournaments commonly referred to as innings and outings where we play friendly matches with other technical institutions.
The sports activities we engage in are organized in terms; the first term has athletics, rugby and ladies’ soccer. The second term has ball games, male soccer, basketball, netball and volley ball while the third term has indoor games, badminton, table tennis, lawn tennis, handball, cross country and hockey. We have our sports activities from 5pm to allow academic activities to run without interference and competitions are also organized during holidays after examinations. However, in November when such dates coincide with the exams, the latter receive priority.
We organize internal interdepartmental athletics competitions to identify talent and focus our training on the best performers who have an interest. The internal competitions allow students from all departments to participate. In addition, we also organize internal staff friendly competitions between teaching and non-teaching staff to help in team building by improving relationship between the staff.
At the Polytechnic we encourage students to participate in sports, it is voluntary but we support students identified as talented in sports through training and linkages. We sponsor them to Athletics Kenya (AK) competitions. We also allow external teams to use our fields for practice and have hosted several international, regional and national as well as local teams for different sports activities.
As TKNP we have been actively involved in KETISA leadership and the sports department has been ably represented thus giving our students goodwill and great exposure. Our sports office has taken leadership roles especially in Athletics thus encouraging excellent performance among students due to the wealth of experience in the department. We pride ourselves in training hard and always participate in KETISA games. The principal has ensured that our teams have consistently participated in all KETISA games through financial support for sports equipment, kits and other necessities.
We plan to expand and give more exposure to our students by participating in regional games especially after KETISA. We welcome like-minded corporates to help us in this regard. We also wish to encourage our coaches who are drawn from the teaching staff to take an interest in training students actively throughout the year and not only during competitions.
We conduct capacity building for coaches whom we sponsor for training under professional organizations to improve coaching. The objective is to make them familiar with current rules of the game to avoid mistakes and also get the latest information or changes regarding sports. We have already begun a plan to train coaches and have received applications to vet the coaches, and are at the stage of organizing capacity sessions.
During students’ orientation we have a brief presentation from the sports department where we provide all the relevant information with regard to the sporting activities available at TKNP, the kinds of fields we have, the equipment available and how they can meet the various coaches through internal structures. We encourage individual students especially those who participate in the indoor games who can practice on their own to do so from term one as they prepare to go for competitions in term three.
To our potential students and sponsors we would like to urge you to participate in our games and encourage students to participate in sporting activities as this improves health and discipline by keeping students busy during leisure time.