Pain, anger for athletes as construction of Kamariny Stadium drags on


Pain, anger for athletes as construction of Kamariny Stadium drags on

In Summary

  • Athletes in Elgeyo Marakwet County and the entire North Rift region will have to wait longer in order to use the historic Kamariny Stadium that is under construction.
  • The stadium is located approximately two kilometers from Iten town which is dominated by both local and international athletes owing to its high altitude status.

Athletes in Elgeyo Marakwet County and the entire North Rift region will have to wait longer be fore they can use the historic Kamariny Stadium that its construction work is dragging on at a snail’s pace.

The stadium whose refurbishment started early last year was earmarked to be completed in six months but a spot check by Citizen Digital revealed there is still a long way to go . Athletes will thus be forced to look for alternative grounds to conduct speed work.

But its closure has brought fair share of challenges to the athletes who have now been forced to train in private facilities such as Tambach Teachers Training College or even travel to the neighbouring county of Uasin Gishu where some athletes train at the University of Eldoret, the exorbitant costs notwithstanding while others go as far as Moi University School of Law, located along the Eldoret- Nairobi highway.

According to former World Marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang who hails from the county, the stadium has taken far too long thus derailing the development of the upcoming athletes in the county who would ordinary conduct their speed work at the facility.

“Ever since the County governments came in place, many governors opted to uplift the existing stadia to modern standards which have made athletes lack facilities to train in subsequently affecting their performances,” Kipsang regrets.

The two-time London marathon champion said the upcoming athletes are the most affected since they may not have the financial muscle to sponsor themselves to private training facilities.

“We are now heavily relying on institutions since the government has not taken an initiative to construct at least a small stadium that an upcoming athlete can use,” lamented Kipsang.

The stadium is located approximately two kilometers from Iten town which is dominated by both local and international athletes owing to its high altitude status.

However, the lack of a public standard training field in the county is fast becoming a challenge as many athletes now   travel miles just to train at the ‘Home of Champions’, Iten.

Speaking on Friday during the Anti-Doping Day held at Iten, County Sports Executive Anita Kimwatan said that although Kamariny Stadium is still under construction, the County had developed alternative training grounds for the athletes including the one in Kiptingo, but, as is the case where many budding talents needs ample facilities, it is  never enough .In fact its akin to a water drop in an ocean.

With the lack of a standard facility biting, pressure is mounting on the Ministry of Sports and the County Government of Elgeyo Marakwet to salvage the situation.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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