NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 31 – Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jack Tuwei has appealed to county governments in the Rift region to refurbish sports infrastructures so the area can host more international athletics competitions.
Describing the area as the traditional epicentre of athletics talents in the country, Tuwei said AK would love to advocate for more international competitions in the Rift but for poor sports facilities in the region.
“We need to look at the sports infrastructures in this region including Eldoret, Kapsabet, Kamariny, Kapenguria…everywhere. We would like to bring more events to these areas because of these athletes who have done a great job here but we don’t have those facilities. We need better facilities here so we can bring more international events. The reason why we brought this event (Sirikwa Cross Country Tour) to Eldoret was because we could not bring a track and field event to this region,” Tuwei said.
The AK supremo further urged different stakeholders in the industry, including past and present athletes, to join hands in improving Kenya’s capacity to host megasports events in athletics.
“This is the way to go…let us do the job and do it seriously so that the world can see that we are capable of hosting such events. We have really improved our capacity not only in the technical aspects but also in terms of media coverage. If we can continue doing all this then there is no way Kenya should not be at the top in terms of organizing athletics events,” he said.
Tuwei further took a walk down memory lane to last year when Nairobi lost out to Tokyo in its bid for the 2025 World Championship.
Tuwei noted that failure to land the prestigious hosting rights was not due to incompetency rather the Japanese capital had proved to have better stadium suited to the World Championships as compared to Kenya.
The country is set to host the second edition of the World Cross Country Tour Gold – named the Sirikwa Classic – this weekend at the Lobo Village in Eldoret.
Tuwei said the prestigious event has grown in leaps and bounds and expects a capacity crowd to throng the venue now that the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided.
“Last year, I am told there were approximately 7000 who attended this event. This year, I am sure we are going to have over 10,000 spectators to this event. I want to ask as many of those from around here (Eldoret) to attend the event so we can make it better. Who knows…maybe with time we can make it even more international,” he said.
Hundreds of athletes from Kenya and without are expected to compete across six categories of competition.
Entrance is free for all spectators.