What you need to know:
- The rising demand for Kipchoge Keino as a competition and training venue forced the national government to start the second phase of the stadium’s refurbishing
- When the Nation Sport team visited the venue on Monday, a gloomy picture presented itself with works having stalled way back in 2017 and no sign of resuscitation
- Sh230 million shillings was the initial amount released from the national government while the county government was to pump in Sh100 million shillings to handle the parking lot and lighting
A new year, same old problems.
With just 169 days to Kenya’s Olympic games track and field trials, there’s rising concern as to whether Eldoret’s Kipchoge Keino Stadium, the venue for the selection meet, will be ready to host the country’s elite athletes.
As you enter into Eldoret town, there are a lot of developments going on with new buildings mushrooming every day.
The business community here is happy that the town is growing, largely thanks to the elite athletes who have been winning various competitions across the globe and investing their forex in the Uasin Gishu County capital.
But as the year starts, and with the Tokyo Olympics trials (from June 19 to 21) looming large, there is growing concern whether the Kipchoge Keino Stadium’s rehabilitation will beat the deadline.
The trials will pick Kenya’s team to the July 24 to August 9 Olympic Games, the second time Eldoret is hosting these trials after a successful selection for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics which saw the stadium packed to the rafters.
The rising demand for Kipchoge Keino as a competition and training venue forced the national government to start the second phase of the stadium’s refurbishing.
This involved building new terraces and a parking lot besides improving other amenities at the venue.
When the Nation Sport team visited the venue on Monday, a gloomy picture presented itself with works having stalled way back in 2017 and no sign of resuscitation.
One side of the stadium has terraces complete with a capacity of approximately 2,000 fans.
The contractor left the site while construction of the VIP terraces still at foundation level.
The synthetic running track is still in good condition but the pitch has outgrown grass with weeds all over the place.
Outside the stadium, farmers and business people are happy that the sun is shining after a long period of rains and they are drying their bumper harvest of maize on the stadium’s designated parking lot before selling the produce.
We found a few athletes training having sneaked in to cash in on the synthetic track.
“We have a ministry which is in charge of such project but why is it hard for them to allocate money and finalize the stadiums across the region which produces world beaters,” said one athlete who didn’t want to be quoted for fear of victimization.
PARKING LOT AND LIGHTING
In January 2017, Sports Kenya and the County Government of Uasin Gishu signed an agreement to renovate the stadium with works set to cover the VIP terraces, changing rooms, a conference hall, indoor games hall and terraces for between 15,000 to 25,000 spectators.
Sh230 million shillings was the initial amount released from the national government while the county government was to pump in Sh100 million shillings to handle the parking lot and lighting.
All that amounted to very little in the grand scheme of things as one contractor — WIETEC Company —began their portion of the works after getting paid eight per cent of an initial 20 per cent deposit.
The contractors have since completed their allotted task.
Last year, Nation Sport carried a series on the state of stadiums across the country most of which are in a state of neglect. Sadly, little has been done to improve these facilities.