Afraha Stadium to have a tartan track installed

Afraha Stadium during the face-lifting done in mid 2016 ahead of the national Madaraka Day celebrations. ...
Afraha Stadium during the face-lifting done in mid 2016 ahead of the national Madaraka Day celebrations. Upgrade works cost an estimated Ksh70m.

The Nakuru Afraha Stadium murram track is set to be upgraded to tartan in an effort to improve athletics in the region.

This follows the promise made by area Governor Kinuthia Mbugua to Olympics women 1500m champion, Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon when he hosted her to a lavish homecoming ceremony that included a parade through the town following her exploits at the Rio 2016 Games in Brazil.

Besides the tartan the County of Nakuru Executive in charge of Education, Sports and Culture, Francis Mathea, says the facility that is also the home of Kenyan Premier League side Ulinzi Stars will also have Wi-fi Internet connection installed for free public use.

The County has invited interested companies to partner with them in the venture after Afraha was given a facelift mid last year when it was chosen to host the national Madaraka Day celebrations where the local administration spent Ksh70m.

Apart from additional gates, floodlights and lavatories, five more stands were constructed at the time.

“We’ve made significant improvement on the facility for the last four years. When we started upgrading, it could accommodate only 15,000 fans but now it can host up to 70,000. We’ve integrated shades to shelter fans from the rain and intense heat.

“The stadium has brought a boom in business, especially in the hospitality industry. Hotel owners have greatly benefited. It’s also provided a good platform for talented youngsters to showcase their skills and be noticed,” Mathea told Citizen Digital on Wednesday.

The rising profile of Afraha as a sports hub has seen it attract huge interests from National Super League (NSL) clubs eager to shift to the facility.

Ulinzi as well as NSL outfit Nakuru All Stars share the stadium as their home ground at the moment.

On September 3, Governor Kinuthia hailed the women 1500m women Olympics winner and twice World Cross junior champion Chepng’etich when promising to upgrade Afraha to tap more talent like her.

“She is a true champion and has brought much honor to the County of Nakuru. I want to declare that we shall support everyone who has the talent and ensure the sport is fully funded starting from the ward level.

“I would like to thank Kuresoi South and North for the support they accorded our champion and for agreeing to come together. Much appreciation also goes to Team Chamgei for also coming to support all of us,” Kinuthia stated at the time.

Since the local administarion took over the management of the stadium from the now defunct Municipal Council of Nakuru, it has hosted the Kenya Inter-Counties Sports and Cultural Association (KICOSCA), East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and Kenya Communications Sports Organization (KECOSO).

Afraha will become only the fifth stadium with a tartan track fitted after Nyayo National Stadium, Moi Sports International Center Kasarani, Kipchoge Keino Stadium and the privately owned Lornah Kiplagat Stadium in Iten.

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Story By Simon Ngure
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