The government has been urged to support the Kenya Bodybuilding Federation (KBBF) now that it has started to attract a high number of fans in the country.
Stakeholders from the North Rift region observed that bodybuilding has largely been unpopular in the country for the last two decades due to lack of support from the government and other sponsors.
According to Rupa Fun and Fitness Centre, Eldoret General Manager Nebert Shiveka, there is an urgent need for the government through the Ministry of Sport to include bodybuilding as a major sport in its sponsorship programme.
“We are asking the Cabinet Secretary for Sport Ababu Namwamba to include body-building as one of the sports that the government supports financially because the sport is now picking up and attracting hundreds of fans from across the country who grace body-building events,” said Shiveka.
Shiveka was addressing the media at the Rupa fitness centre during the finals of the second edition of Mr and Miss East Africa Bodybuilding contest in Eldoret town on Saturday.
The competition attracted 300 bodybuilders drawn from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Malawi and more than 5,000 fans.
They displayed phenomenal presentations that included wellness, bantam, figure, middle, lightweight, and heavyweight categories during the thrilling event.
Shiveka lauded the body-building event, which has now been turned into an annual event, saying it will be used to create awareness of mental illness to reduce the number of affected Kenyans across the country.
“We are partnering with a number of stakeholders in the health and sports sector in a campaign to create awareness on the danger posed by mental illness that has hit mostly the youth and elderly in the society,” he added.
This comes in the wake of rising cases of suicide and killings in the North Rift region connected to mental illness as experts call for heightened sensitization campaigns to check the vice.