KENYA will have a good team at the IAAF World Under 18 Championships in Nairobi next month and the Local Organising Committee [LOC] of the event on Tuesday asked some sections of the Team Kenya management to desist from “self serving side-shows” regarding its preparations.
The event’s LOC, the Ministry of Sport, Culture and the Arts [MOSCA] and the Ministry of Education have been working hand in hand to finance the preparations of ‘Team Kenya’ through its school holidays coaching camps throughout the country and also at staging the primary schools and secondary schools championships. The team will comprise athletes 17 years-old or younger from mainly secondary and primary schools.
Attending the opening ceremony on Tuesday in Mombasa of the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association [KSSA] national championships, which includes track and field, the LOC chief executive officer, Mwangi Muthee, said preparation and management of ‘Team Kenya’ was being done in the best way possible but added:
“There are those who wanted this to be done in less transparent manner and wasteful of funding which should be spent prudently so that it reaches more youth in country.”
He said: “I am saying this from Mombasa where the youth engaged in various all sports, from rugby, football to handball, etc, are aware of the forthcoming World Championships at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani and are eager to travel to Nairobi and watch them if opportunity allows.
“The KSSA chairman, Kimutai Ngetich, has also personally just told me here in Mombasa that his organisation was happy with the way the LOC and the Ministry had facilitated preparations of ‘Team Kenya’ right from the grassroots. I have also interacted with coaches and officials of Athletics Kenya’s [AK] regional committees who have assured me that our [LOC] and the Ministry’s mode of financing their operations after receiving their invoices has been smooth and well appreciated.”
Muthee added: “The LOC has received tremendous support from IAAF [International Association of Athletics Federations], owners of the World Championships; the organising member of IAAF who in this case is Athletics Kenya [AK]; the host institution which is the Government of Kenya and the host city of County of Nairobi. My opinion is that because of pulling together with all stakeholders, we shall stage a world class event between July 12 and 16 that will make Kenyans proud and our visitors happy and impressed.”
‘Team Kenya’ held pre-trials at Kipchoge Keino Stadium on May 25-26 and a squad shortlisted for the final trials in Nairobi on June 12-13. However, from the KSSA track and field programme at the national games in Mbaraki, Mombasa on Thursdayand Friday it is obvious other athletes will emerge into contention of ‘Team Kenya’ places and will be invited to the Nairobi final trials.
“The AK Youth Commission should thus be working hard at ensuring a smooth organisation of the trials, incorporating every legible athlete and competent technical officials from all its regions. The LOC will facilitate accommodation in Nairobi; see that all are well fed and that all competition equipment is available. However, all these services will be accorded from a central point under the Ministry of Sport and specifically under its Head of Administration, Haroun Komen. This is the first stop of all enquiries regarding services, funding and payment of invoices.”
The LOC chief singled out Barnaba Korir, chairman of the AK’s Youth Committee as one person who wished for “insular handling of ‘Team Kenya’ preparations.” And Muthee added: “His way was nowhere near the best. Some aspects of the pre-trials in Eldoret were in shambles. For instance, from the region [Nairobi] where Korir is chairman, two sets of technical officials appeared in Eldoret and one group had to be embarrassed, going without accommodation, food and transport.
“Korir has no option than to appreciate that the LOC’s and the Ministry’s operations are far smoother, accountable and transparent. I am disappointed that he is a principal source of murmuring and unfounded claims that ‘Team Kenya’ is not well looked after.”
“Whereas the onus of preparing ‘Team Kenya’ lay squarely on Athletics Kenya, the LOC and the Government of Kenya shouldered responsibility. It is therefore reasonable that ‘Team Kenya’ managers should expect to go under Government accountability procedures.
“So far, equipment procured for ‘Team Kenya’, under the advice of Korir’s committee, to be distributed to camps countrywide, cost the LOC and Government Sh831, 000; payments made to training camps (since August 2016) through documents provided by Korir total Sh23.1 million; and accommodation and transport paid over the Eldoret pre-trials, as provided by the organisers totaled Sh12.7 million.
“Therefore, through the requisition of Athletics Kenya, the LOC and Government have paid for ‘Team Kenya’ a total of Sh36, 809,695. And moreover, the LOC and Government are still prepared to go an extra mile to make sure that Kenya has the best prepared team in at the IAAF WU18 Championships.”
Muthee said the ‘Team Kenya’ trials at Nyayo National Stadium will be a challenge and a test for AK’s Youth Committee and they must step up to the organisational task. “The LOC and the Ministry of Sport will play their part diligently,” Muthee concluded.
Issued from the office of:
Chief Executive Officer
Local Organising Committee, IAAF World U18 Championships, Nairobi 2017