Kisumu, the talent hub that churned out prolific sportsmen and women for decades on end before the turn of the millennium. In this great city, sports was a way of life and a way out for many. It was a melting pot of almost all sports disciplines.

From the grassroots to the apex, schools to established clubs, Kisumu oozed sports excellence. These were the years Kisumu Boys and Kisumu Day would battle it out at the secondary schools’ national basketball finals and/or the national hockey finals. The days when Kisumu Simba would win the national hockey championship at will, days when Kisumu Posta was a permanent feature in the Super League, the latter-day KPL, and produced national team players. When inter-estate games were intense and hallowed.

Only the capital city, Nairobi, could hold a candle to Kisumu when it came to minting sports talent and prowess across board, and even then the capital city benefited immensely from Kisumu’s “export” talent.

Then came the long loud lull and sports in the lakeside was put in the backburners as a complex cocktail of mismanagement, finances and a lack of facilities took a stranglehold on it. Clubs collapsed, talents got wasted and opportunities lost, it was all gloom. All that remained was the nostalgia of glorious days past, some has been a tale.

Fast forward to 2019 and Kisumu is bursting with a vibrant sports atmosphere that promises to bring back the glory days of yore.

Kisumu Rugby Club has qualified to scrum it out in the top rugby league in the country, the Kenya Cup League. Kisumu All Stars are a heartbeat away from the football premier league, KPL, now Sportpesa Premier League. Lakeside Basketball is breaking ankles in the national hoops league and Lakers Hockey Club are flicking away slickly in the women’s premier league and the grassroots are an active talent conveyor belt once

We are rising from the ashes like the fabled phoenix, it’s a renaissance, the fire has been slowly but steadily sparking from the embers and is almost full flame now. It should be kept burning. It should be fanned and stoked.

Sports lovers got to come out and cheer for our sports entities, the players need to keep at it, the management shouldn’t slacken and lastly, the county government must provide adequate sporting facilities to keep the momentum. Talents need to be nurtured and sports made economically beneficial and self-sustaining in the long run.

We need to tap big on sports tourism as a county, create avenues for our sports to get solid and never again let the fire get snuffed out.

This is our renaissance. This is Kisumu. Kisumu is sports.

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