By Prudence Minayo
The steady growth of the upper middle class in Kenya has led to an increase in disposable income. These moneyed individuals are continuously looking for ways to spend their money and joining sports club is proving to be enticing as it is associated with sophistication. This has given rise to the number of members only clubs in the country.
The exclusive Wadi Degla Club attracts the rich. Former Kiambu governor, William Kabogo described it as “a club and and place like no other, set to introduce new lifestyles around sports, family and business.” The club attracts some of Kenya’s most influential businessmen, politicians and media personalities like Jeff Koinange.
The club traces its origin in Egypt where it was first established. They ventured into the Kenya market with a plan to open three multi-billion clubs. Inspired by modern Egyptian architecture, the Runda branch was the first to be completed and begin operations in Kenya.
The club’s country manager, Joseph Reda, described the club as a one-stop shop for families in Kenya wishing to be close to one another and at the same time enjoy various sports activities.
“We are changing the private members’ club culture to become an actual credit to our lifestyle. It’s a place you can go in the morning before work for a workout, then have breakfast together as a family and come back for meetings with business executives as the children enjoy the after school sports programmes,” he said.
The club is located close to upmarket gated communities including: Runda paradise, Runda Palms Gardens, Kencom Sacco homes and Hidden Creek.
The club operates various academies including: football, squash, Taekwondo, tennis, ballet, swimming, gymnastics, judo, chess, karate, volleyball, skating, speedball, archery, aikido, tennis, bowling, fishing, billiards and a special abilities academy.
They have professional coaches for the different areas of sports. Fine gyms, restaurants, kids play areas, pools and the famous Angsana spa are available to members.
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Being an exclusive club means that members have to part with a handsome amount in order to be admitted. Their memberships fee include a one time entry fee and annual renewal fees.
Their membership packages are also split into three:
- Classic which gives access to the Runda club
- Silver which gives access to the Runda club and all future and present Wadi Degla club
- Gold which grants access to all African clubs
To gain membership, one must be ready to part with at least Sh950,000 for lifetime membership and another Sh60,000 for yearly renewal.
According to a 2016 Business Daily article, a family of four with one principal member and three co-members will be required to pay Sh1.2 million. The principal member will pay an annual fee of Sh60,000 while co-members will pay Sh20,000. This will gives members access to sporting activities across all clubs. Children of members below four years enjoy free sporting activities. The club works in partnership with sports academies such as Arsenal Soccer School to help children develop their abilities and even turn talent to professional careers.