Domestic Laws that Governs Sports in Kenya

In this article we will mainly focus on the Domestic laws that govern sports in Kenya.

Domestic Laws that Govern Sports in Kenya

  1. The Constitution of Kenya 2010

The main law that governs sports in Kenya is the Constitution which is the supreme law of the land. Article 27 advocates for the elimination of discrimination in sports based on any persons’ race, sex, disability, religion etc.[1]

Article 54 advocates for the rights of persons living with disabilities. In fulfilling their obligation as mandated by the Constitution, the Kenyan government has invested in training facilities suitable for people with disabilities.

However, persons living with disabilities called on the Ministry of Education to consider incorporating para-sports competitions in primary schools to identify and nurture talent at an early age.[2] In response to that a promise was made to table a Bill in Parliament which would make it compulsory for all primary schools with special units for persons living with disabilities, to have a sports-enabling environment.[3]

The Fourth Schedule of the Constitution, 2010 mandates both county and national governments to address sports issues.[4] Evidence of devolution in sports can be seen in the building of sports stadiums in different counties, for example the Gusii Stadium in Kisii county which has a 10,000 holding capacity, has been renovated in partnership between the county and the national governments.[5]

2. The Sports Act (2013)

Another law we will review is the Sports Act (2013) is the main regulatory framework of sports administration in Kenya as it regulates all sports activities in the country. The Act has provisions for; dispute resolution (Dispute resolution Tribunal); funding of sports activities (National sports Fund); the establishment of sports associations and organisations and; the control of administrative functions.[6]

On face value the Sports Act is one of the most progressive legislation that sports in Kenya has had thus far, however it has not been met without any challenges. Sports professionals have argued that the Act does not recognize them as it defines a professional sports person as a person who is, on the basis of a contract for engagement and remuneration, preparing or training for the purposes of participating in the relevant sports competition.[7] This definition defines a professional sportsperson as it does not include coaches, teachers, trainers and fitness instructors in sports.

The Act should be amended to include these said people in the definition of sports professionals as they are indeed the backbone of the sports industry.

Next time we take a look at ‘Contracts in Sports.’

Sign up for the MSA Program https://portal.msa.co.ke/register

Written By;

Joan Kamau

Legal Consultant

[1] The Constitution of Kenya,2010.

[2] Ann Salaton, ‘Paralympians in Need of Para-Sports Introduced in Schools’ kenyanews (2021) <https://www.kenyanews.go.ke/paralympians-in-need-of-para-sports-introduced-in-schools/> accessed 19 May 2022.

[3] ibid(n2)

[4] ibid(n1).

[5] Eric Abuga, ‘Report Card: Counties Yet to Fully Implement Devolution On Sports’ The Standard (2020) <https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/sports/adblock?u=https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/sports/sports/2001384262/report-card-counties-yet-to-fully-implement-devolution-on-sports> accessed 19 May 2022.

[6] The Sports Act, 2013.

[7] Hannington Mugala and Peninah Wahome, ‘UNBUNDLING THE KENYAN SPORTS ACT: ROLE, CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE KENYAN SPORTS ACT 2013’ [2017] European Journal of Physical Education and Sport Science <https://en.calameo.com/read/004705816138349f86a58> accessed 19 May 2022.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *