President Uhuru Kenyatta was on Saturday captured shooting in the air, during the official opening of the newly refurbished Nyayo Stadium. The Head of State, who was accompanied by CS Amina Mohammed and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko also spoke for the first time on the mega-stadiums promise by Jubilee which has not yet been realized.
Other than Nyayo Stadium, Uhuru said there are facilities currently under renovation and construction. They are Jamhuri Sports, Leisure and Entertainment Park in Nairobi as well as the upgrading of sporting facilities in Eldoret, Marsabit, Meru, Chuka, Kisumu, Nyeri,Makueni, Wanguru in Kirinyaga and Kirigiti in Kiambu.
The President directed the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage to work round the clock to ensure the facilities are completed and ready for commissioning by the end of December 2020.
“In addition to the facilities, I have earlier mentioned, we are in
discussions with the county governments of Mombasa, Kakamega,Narok and Kisii to co-finance and upgrade to international standards,the existing facilities in their counties,” President Kenyatta said.
With the re-opening of Nyayo National Stadium, President Kenyatta said Kenya’s sportspersons will add new pages to the country’s long and celebrated history as a sporting powerhouse.
Meanwhile, the Head of State expressed satisfaction that in just over a week Nyayo National Stadium will host the Kip Keino Classic the first ever World Athletics Continental Tour event to be held on the African continent.
“The event named after our great hero and trailblazing Olympic champion, Kipchoge Keino, will bring together elite athletes from all over the world to compete in various track and field events on Saturday, October 3rd 2020.
“Our being entrusted to host this global event is evidence of the confidence that the world has in our country and our levels of COVID-19 containment as it will be the first global sporting event to be held on the African continent since the advent of the COVID-19 Pandemic,the President said.
President Kenyatta pointed out that the Kip Keino Classic and other sporting events that will be held as the country gradually and progressively re-opens will be conducted with strict adherence to all applicable Covid-19 protocols, guidelines and regulations.
“This will ensure that sportspersons, coaches, media and spectators are kept safe and healthy, President Kenyatta said.
He asked the Ministry of Sports to redouble its efforts in re-convening major sporting events that were postponed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I further direct the Ministry to resume preparation processes towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games and to engage with our local sports associations on how Kenyan athletes can resume competing in sporting events abroad” the President said.The President also took the opportunity to wish Kenyan athletes success as they head out to the London Marathon scheduled for 4th October 2020.
“Led by World Marathon Record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei, I have no doubt that they will, once again like their colleagues in Doha, make Kenya proud, despite the challenges they have had in training due to the cOVID-19 restrictions” he said.
The Head of State reminded Kenyan athletes to safeguard the country’s reputation as a sporting powerhouse by competing clean and winning fairly as he ordered the Ministry of Sports to provide the required resources for enhanced anti-doping education, testing and reporting.