Inspired by Samuel Eto’o's visit, Laikipia Stadium needs further motivation

The public dais at Nanyuki stadium in Laikipia County.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The Laikipia County Government spent Sh3 million to prepare the Nanyuki Stadium which hosted the Chapa Dimba na Safaricom’s Central region football tournament between January 18 and 19 this year.
  • The county’s acting Sports Chief Officer Annette Muriuki said then that they prepared the stadium through a multi-departmental approach.

Eight years after Cameroon football legend Samuel Eto’o graced a football tournament at the Nanyuki Stadium in Laikipia East Sub-county, the ground remains in a dilapidated state with minimal sports activities.

The retired Cameroonian star, who starred for, among others, Everton, Barcelona, Chelsea, Anzhi Makhachkala, and Inter Milan, and also featured for Qatar Sports Club in the twilight of his stellar career, established the Samuel Eto’o Laikipia Unity Football Academy and Environmental Education Centre at Segera Ward to nurture talents of young boys and girls in the region.

Eto’o partnered with the Jochem Zeitz of the Zeitz Foundation, Laikipia Wildlife Forum and commercial ranches and conservancies to set up the academy.

It is at the Nanyuki Stadium where the idea of kick-starting the ambitious programme was born when Eto’o graced the Laikipia Unity and Beyond Cup (LUC) finals along with Zeitz Foundation’s founder, Jochen, then CEO at German sportswear company Puma.

The Laikipia County Government spent Sh3 million to prepare the Nanyuki Stadium which hosted the Chapa Dimba na Safaricom’s Central region football tournament between January 18 and 19 this year.

The county’s acting Sports Chief Officer Annette Muriuki said then that they prepared the stadium through a multi-departmental approach.

Muriuki said they opted to inject funds to prepare the stadium after being requested to do so by the Football Kenya Federation (FKF).

“We have been able to cut the grass, level the ground and fence the stadium properly. The Laikipia Air Base has also helped in ensuring that the tournament is a success by setting up proper security measures,” she said.

During the Safaricom Central Region tournament, Falling Waters Girls’ Football Club from Nyahururu retained the title by flooring Limuru Starlets in the finals.

The team also produced the top scorer in Jane Njeri who netted a total of 6 goals in the competition.  Falling Waters have kept the title in the region in two consecutive years.

Governor Ndiritu Muriithi admits that a number of sports facilities in the county needs to be upgraded but adds that the county government has been operating on a limited budget since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

“Nanyuki Stadium facility requires attention because we want it to be upgraded to better standards and encourage more sports activities. There are also other sports facilities at Nyahururu, Doldol, Kimanjo, Kinamba, Sipili, Matanya and Rumuruti which requires to be face-lifted. Basically, all our sports facilities require attention and our aim is to achieve that,”  Muriithi told Nation Sport.

“But we have to prioritise because you have seen this year that the bulk of our money has been channeled to the health docket so as to combat Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have to respond to the need that is urgent. Sports and recreation are important to better livelihoods, but, still, we can only live within a limited budget as a county government,” the governor added.

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