NOC-K: Transform social halls to sports centres

akaja Johnson

National Olympics Committee of Kenya second Deputy president Waithaka Kioni (centre) and Secretary General Francis Mutuku (left) with Nairobi Governor Sakaja Johnson at the governor's Nairobi Office on November 21, 2022.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kioni was accompanied by NOC-K secretary general, Francis Mutuku and treasurer, Anthony Kariuki.
  • NOC-K president Paul Tergat and former Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu signed a memorandum of understanding that enabled the construction of OlympAfrica Sports Complex in March last year.

After getting land in Ruai for the construction of the Sh3.5 billion OlympAfrica Sports Complex from Nairobi County Government, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has one more request for Nairobi Governor Johnstone Sakaja.

NOC-K is now seeking the help of Sakaja to have the remaining social halls in Nairobi transformed to fully-fledged sporting facilities for city residents.

NOC-K second deputy President, Waithaka Kioni, made the appeal when the NOC-K executive paid Sakaja a courtesy call at his City Hall office on Monday.

Kioni observed that Nairobi used to have social halls for indoor sports activities in the past, which saw the youth gather both to train and play local tournaments.

Kioni explained that the set up led to talent identification in boxing and martial arts among other sports, while at the same time building positive values of teamwork, association, and volunteerism for cause-related initiatives.

Kioni noted the role county governments play at the grassroots in the development of sports is an enabler towards the transformation in the social and economic progress of communities, something the OlympAfrica project is founded upon.

“I believe the future is very bright for our athletes and youths in Nairobi as we provide them with opportunities and platforms to express their talents, a move that will contribute to reducing the social vices currently rampant such as crime," said Waithaka as he commended Sakaja for his vision to earmark Nairobi as Africa’s sports hub with state-of-the-art facilities development.

Sakaja welcomed the participation of NOC-K in complementing the county’s efforts to ensure the city has not only enough but internationally accepted facilities that can host any major sports event.

Sakaja noted the successful hosting of the 2017 World Athletics Under-18 Championships and 2021 World Athletics Championships Under-20 Championships by Nairobi.

The governor urged NOC-K to identify more partners that will commit fully to funding the OlympAfrica project to ensure its successful and timely delivery to the intended beneficiaries.

He said that his government had already identified various facilities to be developed and completed to the highest standards within his tenure since the country and Nairobi, in particular, remains better placed than other countries in the region as ideal for sports.

The meeting was also attended by the County Deputy Governor, James Njoroge Muchiri, and other senior county officials.

Kioni was accompanied by NOC-K secretary general, Francis Mutuku and treasurer, Anthony Kariuki.

NOC-K president Paul Tergat and former Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu signed a memorandum of understanding that enabled the construction of OlympAfrica Sports Complex in March last year.

The Sh3.5 billion OlympAfrica Sports Complex moved closer to become a reality when  Kananu and Tergat oversaw the ground breaking on March 2 this year at the Muhuri Muchiri Stadium, Ruai.

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