RE: “Why we (East Africa) excel at sending more officials than participants.” (Sunday Times, August 14)
Perhaps because we have a dearth of Olympics-grade athletes, and a surfeit of Olympics-standard officials? Ooops, I forgot Economics 101: The more there is of something, the less the unit value of each and vice versa! Thus, we should be spending very little on sports officials – of which we already have a surplus; even if of substandard quality, in order to increase our supply of the product we actually need: a larger number of world-class sportsmen and sportswomen instead.
Unfortunately, this is possible only where the rules of economics actually function; not in our sports field or a number of other similarly dysfunctional sectors, in which significant investments have been made for meagre returns.
To recap: our sports structure is skewed towards more chiefs or administrators and fewer actual athletes worth the name. It looks like an inverted pyramid; just a few real athletes having to carry top-heavy administrations. The money to send all of these people to the Olympics would bring greater returns if it were invested in sports development efforts in primary and secondary schools and other grassroots level sporting programmes.