Hurting day in, day out, athletes in Iten protest lack of stadium


Athletes hit the road during the Baringo 10km Marathon  in Kabarnet on Sunday. (PHOTO/Courtesy)
(FILE)Athletes hit the road during the Baringo 10km Marathon  in Kabarnet on Sunday. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

In Summary

  • With the renovation of the historic Kamariny Stadium dragging on, athletes in Elgeyo Marakwet County have taken upon themselves to source for funds for the completion of the alternative track at Kiptingo Primary School, initiated by the county government, but which hasn't been completed as well.  
  • The stadium located approximately two kilometers from Iten town served the many athletes pitching camp at the ‘Home of Champions’ including foreigners, but since its closure for renovation, life has never been the same for  the athletes as they are now forced to look for alternate facilities for training, in far away places.  

With the renovation of the historic Kamariny Stadium dragging on, athletes in Elgeyo Marakwet County have taken upon themselves to source for funds for the completion of the alternative track at Kiptingo Primary School, initiated by the county government, but which hasn’t been completed as well.

The stadium located approximately two kilometers from Iten town served the many athletes pitching camp at the ‘Home of Champions’ including foreigners, but since its closure for renovation, life has never been the same for  the athletes as they are now forced to look for alternative facilities for training, in far away places.

A spot check by Citizen Digital  in November last year did not give good findings as work on the facility drag at a snail’s pace.

The county government had offered to construct an alternative track at Kiptingo Primary School as the works continue at Kamariny and since both are not complete, athletes have been forced to travel as far as the University of Eldoret or Tambach Teachers Training College which have better facilities.

According to the two-time Linz Marathon champion Elias Kiptum, they have taken the initiative as athletes and coaches after enduring a lot of suffering in the region, occasioned by the lack of a proper facility to undertake their speed-work.

According to Kiptum, the athletes  are now raising funds, boosted by  other well wishers in order to complete the track at Kiptingo as the county government allegedly  lacks funds for the project.

“We as athletes from Iten have undergone a lot of challenges due to the unavailability of Kamariny Stadium owing to the renovations works which has forced  athletes to train on the roads while those who are well off can travel to University of Eldoret for their speed-work,” he lamented.

“We  therefore urge the government to speed up the construction works. Meanwhile we have also united as athletes to contribute funds so that we can complete the facility at Kiptingo. Our target is to raise sh1.5 million,” said Kiptum.

This new development comes just a month after the Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Culture Rashid Echesa toured the facility.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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