NAIROBI, (July 1) - With 10 days remaining to the IAAF World Under-18 Championships to be held in Nairobi, two Cabinet Secretaries on Saturday presided over a Dry Run to ensure everything is in place for staging of the 10th and final edition of the global youth competition.
The Dry Run, which is a testing of the facilities and venues for an event of this magnitude, started with the inspection of facilities and hostels at the Kenyatta University where all the about 130 teams will be accommodated during the July 12-16 competition before the high-powered entourage proceeded to the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, which will be the epi-centre for the competition.
Addressing the Steering and Local Organising Committees and the Media after the four-hour tour, Joseph Nkaiserry, who is the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Co-ordination of National Government, said the Government wants to ensure everything is in order, given the global nature of the event.
Gen Joseph Nkaisery, Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government at the warm-up ground for the IAAF World U18 Championships in Kasarani. He is with from right Ibrahim Hussein, the Local Organising Committee director of technical and competition , James Ole Serian Regional Coordinator of Nairobi; Dr Hassan Wario, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts; and Mwangi Muthee, the LOC Chief Executive Officer. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/LOC wu18nairobi2017
"We don't want to take any chances with security and other critical matters of the event. Visitors are beginning to arrive next week and we must ensure things are in shape. Work is so far going on commendably, but I want to see more being done," said Mr Nkaiserry.
He warned any slackness or poor work by those charged with various responsibilities won't be taken kindly, although he said he is happy with work so far done.
He reported that it was H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta's wish that the event is not just held successfully, but that Kenya delivers a world-class event.
He tasked the LOC and Steering Committees with the delivery of the event, but also urged them to ensure nothing happens that could embarrass the government.
His Cabinet colleague for Sports, Dr Hassan Wario, said the Opening and closing ceremonies are important and the LOC and Steering Committees and volunteers should handle the two events impeccably.
Both cabinet secretaries were impressed by the work at Kenyatta University and urged the institution to take its rightful place in the development of the science of sports in the continent.
"With the world class track and refurbished hostels, Kenyatta University should now do what American and European universities do which is to lead in the science of high performance in sports. These are some of the legacies this competition will give us here in Kenya," said Dr Wario.
At the Kasarani venue, the entourage toured the warm-up track which has been completed, and the competition track which is now a sparkling sky blue tartan track, the first of its kind in Kenya.
The two cabinet secretaries were accompanied by the Chairman of the LOC, Lt Gen (RTD) Jackson Tuwei, CEO of the LOC, Mwangi Muthee, Chancellor of Kenyatta University, Prof Paul Wainaina, various heads of department and committee members.
Lt Gen Tuwei said four categories of athletes have been invited to the championships to come and enjoy the competition -- veterans who started Kenya's athletics journey with the Commonwealth and Empire Games in Vancouver, Canada, in 1954, Senior athletes who have won gold medals at subsequent Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Championships, Juniors and Youths who horned their talent in the age group competitions and the team selected last week for the forthcoming World Championships in London, who are currently in residential training camp at Milele Hotel.