17th September, 2019: More than 10 African nations are participating in the inaugural Africa Deaf Athletics Championships. Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Libya, Mozambique, Mauritius, Nigeria, Uganda, Zanzibar and Kenya are some of the countries that are participating in the first Africa Deaf Athletics Championship.
While flagging off the championship, Dr. Amina Mohammed, the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage said Kenya’s full sponsorship of the event was proof of the country’s commitment to nurturing emerging sports talent.
The Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya has already named a team of 50 athletes to represent Kenya in the inaugural Africa Deaf Athletics Championships.
Speaking during official launch of the championship, Kirimi Kaberia, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage said “another crop of budding winners, both Kenyan and other nationalities, will emerge into the world stage of competitive athletics.”
Mr Kirimi called said the event would raise awareness on sporting events for the deaf across the continent and raise Africa’s participation. “This a millstone. It is an epochal moment that for the first time deaf sportsmen and women are coming together during the UN Sign language month to enjoy sports and the beautiful culture of sign language.”
He said the championship would nudge African governments to recognize the existence of Confederation of Africa Deaf sports and Deaf Sports Federations in various countries and promote the sporting culture of Deaf people.
To date, 90 percent of affiliate member countries has never participated at the international events like world championship, regional competitions and Deaflympics.
This is despite the existence of the Confederation of Africa Deaf Sports, which is the home of sports for the Deaf in Africa with the mandate operate, develop, organize and promote sports for the Deaf in Africa.
The federation which is an affiliate member of the International Committee of Sports of the Deaf (ICSD), the world’s governing body of sports of the deaf.
The Confederation of Africa Deaf sports has a total number of 30 affiliate member countries and 6000 sportsmen and women as according to a survey done in 2018.