Varsity sports track welcome

Yesterday’s official launch of the synthetic running track at Kenyatta University will go a long way in developing athletics talent, especially sprints. 

The six-lane track, which is part of the 2017 World Athletics Under-18 Championships’ legacy programme, was unveiled by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, making the university the first public institution of higher learning in the country to own such a facility.

It also affirms the institution’s status as the centre of sporting excellence, having earlier unveiled an Olympic standard swimming pool. The government deserves kudos for fulfilling its promise – albeit belatedly – to ensure that the 2017 World Athletics Under-18 Championships’ legacy programme is on track.

We also congratulate Vice-Chancellor Paul Wainaina and his staff for the patience and firmness in ensuring a quality track is laid for sports studies, training and competition at a time when most institutions of higher learning in the country lack modern training sports facilities.

Other institutions of higher learning should take up the challenge and invest in sports facilities, even through private-public partnerships.  Kenyan universities and colleges have enormous sporting talent that should be harnessed.

They should borrow a leaf from their American counterparts that have fully fledged sporting facilities and offer scholarships to students who excel in sports from across the world.

It is also good to note that the Kenyan Government and Kenyatta University are keen to engage further in upgrading the university’s sports facilities.

The successful completion of such projects will put Kenya’s bid to host the 2025 World Athletics Championships in good stead, as athletes will have a wider choice of training venues.

We urge the government to also ensure that the Jamhuri Sports Complex continues to receive quality upgrades and that a quality tartan track is installed.

The ongoing renovations at Eldoret’s Kip Keino Stadium, Iten’s Kamariny Stadium, Ruring’u Stadium in Nyeri and Makueni’s Wote Stadium, among others, should also be completed.

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