The recent near death incident of an English Premier League player and the sad demise of a 25-year-old Italian soccer player have seen Fifa impose stiffer rules on medical fitness screening.
It may soon become mandatory for players to undergo nedical investigations. At the same time the incidents have exposed our weak investment in local sports.
Some top officials have proposed that Fifa partners with local hospitals to fund the expensive medical tests in less developed nations. Athletes are modern-day entertainers and have created globally profitable enterprises.
Locally, though, the
absense of high-standard medical facilities that carry out tests on atheletes point to potential opportunities. For the first time in ages local entertainers have started earning millions of shillings.
Though these are in the media and music spheres, sportsmen are also gaining recognition. Athletes and rugby players have been the cream of top earners.
But it is in football that the money will come from since it is the most popular sport.
The rise in stadium attendance and the proposed Sports Bill will see mega bucks invested in sports through a lottery.
New rules by Football Kenya are also ensuring that only financially stable clubs participate in the top league.
To meet this criteria, clubs will trade in shares and turn professional. A few discerning investors in the insurance industry have been quick A few discerning investors in the insurance industry have been quick to start forging partnerships with sports teams and sportsmen.
No less than three medical insurers have inked deals with football premier teams. The insurers hope to have long term benefits when the tide turns.
Others have decided to go all the way to the top and are engaging relevant sports authorities to manage the entire league’s players. Local health institutions could benefit from such partnerships if they creste sports medicine centres.
These will focus on helping athletes recover quickly through minimally invasive surgeries and high tech facilities.
Fitness and recovery
So how and where should the money be put? Fitness and recovery centres such as gyms have become key elements in determining players’ fitness levels and recuperation from injury.
Assessment of heart function and exercise-strain tests also help team managers.