Step aside coaches, the next star will be digitally moulded, with the aid of YouTube. The video-sharing site is more popular for funny home videos rather than as a conveyor belt of talent. It might have been created in 2007 as a place to share media files, but it has over the years become a popular platform used by budding athletes to learn and develop new skills.
It has exposed amateurs to abundant information and tutorials that have very well rendered coaches pointless. A few of them have managed to turn the priceless knowledge into beautiful careers. Julius Yego (YouTube man),the current all Africa games gold medalist, gained stardom by viewing javelin clips on the internet via YouTube of stars such as Jan Zelezny (Czech Rep.) in order to master and hone the techniques of javelin throwing. He went on to make history by becoming the first Kenyan to take part at the Olympic games in a field event where he later qualified for the final.
The internet has become so culturally ingrained in today’s society that even thinking of a time before it existed is as mindboggling as predicting what the future holds for it.It is fast being used by budding professionals who have an appetite for the-not-so-popular-sports but lack the qualified personnel to take them through the paces.Odds are, there are young and energetic Kenyans out there who have a vague interest in sports such as sailing, table tennis, netball and ice skating, just to mention a few.I mean those who love to see something new and entirely different rather than what is being thrown at us by the various sports channels.These sports may not have multi-million dollar cash prizes or die-hard fans,but they can very well be a way out for the many jobless youths with untapped raw talent out there.
So why not try it, it can’t hurt right? It is just a click and several megabytes away.
Nothing is more fulfilling than witnessing another Yego trampling the odds. In Kenya, our idea of sports usually starts with football with a generous dose of athletics and rugby thrown in. Don’t get me wrong, they are all fun, but it really does get old after a while.