Tuwei urges Govt to factor athletics in City Stadium renovations


Tuwei urges Govt to factor athletics in City Stadium renovations
Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei addressing press at sidelines of the Annual Athletes Conference at the Sirikwa Hotel on December 5,2019. (PHOTO/Gilbert Kiprotich)

In Summary

  • Athletics Kenya chairman Jackson Tuwei has called on the central government, as well as the Nairobi County government, to ensure that the renovation of the city stadium does not leave out athletics
  • He emphasized that Kasarani and Nyayo Stadiums are national stadiums but the city stadium is for Nairobi County, so it is important to have a modern look while maintaining its history

Athletics Kenya chairman Jackson Tuwei has urged the Government to factor athletics during renovations of Nairobi’s City Stadium.

“This stadium has produced some legendary athletes. Before Nyayo Stadium that was completed in 1983, City Stadium was the venue for selecting our athletes to go for international championships. It has contributed a lot in bringing us to the level that we are today.

“We had Mike Boit Classic here when he was retiring from the international arena and wanted to say ‘kwaheri’, he invited promonent athletes like Carl Lewis in an event that was held at night. So this place has got a lot of history,” Tuwei said.

The athletics chief was at the facility in the company of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Sports Cabinet Administrative Secretary Hassan Noor, Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo, Sports Kenya Chairman Fred Muteti and Deputy Chair Shadrack Maluki during an inspection visit on Wednesday.

They were also accompanied by Ministry of Public Works officials and Quantity Surveyors.

The Nairobi City County Government will work with the national government to speed up it’s renovation in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive for a collaborative effort between the two levels of government to upgrade major sports facilities in the country.

Governor Sonko said that the upgrade plan that will start before the end of the year will see the stadium’s standards raised to the same level as Nyayo stadium.

“The advantage that we have is that the contractor who did a commendable job at Nyayo Stadium is the one who is on site here. We want the works to commence as soon as possible so that the county can have many options in terms of sports grounds,” Sonko said.

In May this year, the Ministry of Sports initiated talks with the County Government to take over the rehabilitation and management of the Stadium.

The rehabilitation will now be a collaborative engagement with the County’s Sports board playing a major role as well.

Earlier on in 2016, the stadium had been shut down by the Stadia Safety and Security Committee for not meeting the minimum standards hence unable to host league matches.

The artificial turf covering the main grounds was worn out due to poor maintenance, the washrooms and dressing rooms were in pathetic condition and there was no running water in the stadium.

The county has so far done 65% of phase one which includes, gridding and plastering of the main sitting terraces, construction of two ablution blocks and fitting them with basic utilities, renovation of VIP lounge fitting with sanitary rooms and kitchen, renovation of the two dressing rooms and fitting them with furniture.

Phase two of the same will also include, replacement of the artificial turf, rehabilitation of the pitch drainage system, high mast floodlights, running tartan track, construction of more sitting terraces among other key areas.

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Story By Mkalla Wa Mwambodze
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