Most Popular Sports in Kenya

Are you ready to discover the most popular sports in Kenya? From football to volleyball, there's something for everyone.

Football is the nation's most beloved sport, with Kenyans all over the country playing and watching the game. The annual Safari Sevens tournament in Nairobi has given Rugby Union a boost in popularity as well.

Athletics is also a major sport, with Kenyan athletes making a name for themselves on the global stage. Basketball and baseball are other popular sports, and volleyball is becoming increasingly popular too.

So join us as we explore the unique sports culture in Kenya!

Key Takeaways

  • Football is the most popular sport in Kenya, followed by rugby union, athletics, basketball, and volleyball.
  • Kenyan athletes excel in various disciplines, including track and field, cross country, and marathons.
  • The national women's volleyball team has achieved great success, winning nine continental titles since 1991.
  • Basketball has experienced significant growth in Kenya, particularly among the youth, and Kenyan players have been successful in the NCAA.


Football is the most popular sport in Kenya. Millions of Kenyans actively participate in playing the game, while football betting is a popular pastime. The Football Kenya Federation governs the sport in the country, and the Kenyan Premier League is the only fully professional league.

Kenyan footballers have made an impact on the global stage, with Dennis Oliech and Victor Wanyama becoming household names. Football betting trends in Kenya demonstrate the popularity of the sport, and the continuous growth of the Kenyan football scene. Actually, the football betting market in Kenya is growing year-on-year, with the help of different tipsters, social media groups focused on the topic or websites that provide soccer facts for same day games.

Rugby Union

But what about rugby union?

Rugby union is hugely popular in Kenya, and the country has its own set of national rugby union legends, like Oscar Osir and Humphrey Kayange. The impact of the Safari Sevens tournament, held in Nairobi every year, is undeniable.

The first recorded rugby union game in Kenya dates back to 1909, and the total number of licensed players is now over 50,000. Kenya has achieved successes in the sport, with their national team reaching the semifinals of the African Basketball Championship in 1993. Kenyan clubs have also won 13 African Championships in volleyball.

However, the country is yet to establish a strong presence in international competitions.


Building on the successes of rugby union, athletics is the third most popular sport in Kenya. Kenyan athletes are highly regarded globally and have achieved incredible success in various disciplines, including track and field, cross country, and marathons.

Catherine Ndereba, a Kenyan athlete, is a four-time Boston Marathon winner and two-time world champion. Training and development programs are available for Kenyan athletes, allowing them to reach their full potential and compete in international competitions.

Kenyan athletes have also won multiple gold medals in the Olympic Games and other major international sporting events. This highlights their dominance in the international athletics arena.


Basketball is the fourth most popular sport in Kenya, with its rising popularity among the youth. The Kenyan national basketball team had notable success in the late 20th century, but currently there are relatively few professional players in Europe or Asia.

Kenyan players have been successful in the NCAA, a prominent university basketball league. In order to establish a stronger presence in international basketball competitions, Kenya needs to invest more in developing their players and teams. This could help create more opportunities for Kenyan players to compete on an international level.

With the right resources, Kenya could once again become a force to be reckoned with in basketball.


Volleyball is the fifth most popular sport in Kenya, gaining increasing recognition among young Kenyans. It has a strong presence in African volleyball, with Kenyan clubs having won 13 African Championships and the women's national team having won nine continental titles since 1991.

However, it has yet to establish a strong presence in international competitions like the Olympics or World Championships. The rising popularity of the sport among young Kenyans is a positive step towards achieving international success.

To ensure its continued growth, steps must be taken to cultivate a strong presence in international volleyball competitions. This can be done through investment in training, coaching, and infrastructure. With the right resources, Kenya can become a major force in international volleyball.


Baseball is also growing in popularity in Kenya, particularly among the youth. Its growth in Kenya is having a positive impact on sports development, with more and more young Kenyans taking an interest in the game.

However, the sport still faces some challenges, such as lack of resources and limited funding. To encourage more people to participate in baseball, the government and other stakeholders need to invest in the sport and develop better infrastructure.

Additionally, more resources should be allocated to promote youth baseball development and build up the sport's fan base. With the right support, baseball in Kenya can reach its full potential and become a more popular sport.


Kenya is a country that loves its sports. Whether you're a fan of football, rugby union, athletics, basketball, volleyball, or baseball, there's something for everyone.

From competitive tournaments and international success to recreational leagues and friendly matches, the sports scene in Kenya is vibrant and exciting.

So, what're you waiting for? Get out there and join in the fun!