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Bob Munro, MYSA founder awarded Canada's highest honour

Munro, travelled to Kenya in 1985

[FILE] NAIROBI, KENYA OCTOBER 25: Bob Munro (Founder of MYSA) speaks during the press conference held at the Komarocks sports field October 25, 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo by Getty Images for Laureus)

Bob Munro, founder of the famous Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) has been inducted into the Order of Canada, the country's highest honour for his contributions to conserving the environment as well as sports development in Kenya.

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Munro, who was born in Canada in 1946, has lived in Kenya for over 40 years. Announcing the appointees on June 29, the Governor General of Canada, Mary Simon emphasised Munro's dedication to the Sustainable Development Goals as justification for his award.

"Bob Munro is credited for advancing international environmental and sustainable development policy, and for founding a leading youth sports and community building organization in Kenya," read a statement from the Governor General.

Munro, who moved to Kenya in 1985 expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the Governor General but reiterated his focus since the beginning has been to transform the lives of the youth in Mathare, one of the largest slums in Kenya.

“Although my focus has always been on getting positive results and change rather than awards, I must honestly confess that getting this award was a happy surprise,” Munro told reporters.

The award comes only months after Mathare United were relegated from the Premier League by the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Transition Committee following three successive walkovers during the 2021/2022 season.

Mathare commonly referred to as the Slum Boys, failed to honour matches against Bandari FC, Ulinzi Stars FC and Sofapaka FC, therefore breached article 3.1.12 of the Rules and Regulations, governing Kenyan football.

"As provided for by... the rules and regulations governing Kenyan Football which states; Any club in a league format that does not turn up for three fixtures in a season and their explanation... is not accepted in all the three incidences to the FKF National Leagues and Competitions Committee, shall be suspended for the rest of the season, shall be relegated to a lower tier for the next season and may face other disciplinary action," read a letter signed by head of secretariat Linda Ogutu.

However, the 2008 Premier League champions, blamed their inability to honour matches on delayed disbursement of Sh300,000 monthly grants from the Transition Committee.

“In sum, if the FKF CC had paid its grants arrears four days earlier, those funds were sufficient to avoid forfeiting our third match plus also cover the costs of our five remaining matches,” said Munro.

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