Kenya kicks off Tokyo 2020 Olympic tour
Kenya began its official tour of the Japanese City Kurume on Tuesday ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Kenyan delegation led by Athletics Kenya (AK) officials and Sports PS Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia visited the General Gymnasium before paying a courtesy call to the Mayor of Kurume Tsutomu Okubo.
The delegation included AK president Lt Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei, Kenya’s ambassador to Japan Solomon Maina, National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) 1st Deputy President Shadrack Maluki and acting Secretary General Francis Mutuku.
After general deliberations Kaberia proposed among other things the establishment of Kenya House in Kurume which he said will be done immediately once the logistics are finalised.
The artefacts and other materials for Kenya House will be mobilised in close collaboration with Kenyan Embassy in Tokyo as Kaberia revealed, “this could be done after the Olympics,where we intend develop a museum to showcase Kenya reach culture and history,” said Kaberia.
The Exchange programme with Kenya in field of sport will benefit from the immense technological advancement of Japan.
Kaberia hailed the long-standing bilateral collaboration between the two countries in various fields including Education and Research.
He said discussions were very advanced regarding visit of the Business Community through the Chamber of Commerce to Kenya this year in order to open up Commercial discussions with counterparts in Kenya.
On his part, Ambassador Solomon Maina said that the envisioned partnership will extend beyond sports and cover business and cultural exchanges beyond next year’s 2020 Olympic Games.
Tuwei hailed Tokyo as the cradle of Kenya’s athletics prowess as it was in Tokyo Games in 1964 where Kenya won its first medal through Wilson Kiprugut in the men’s 800m after missing on the medals in the first two outings of 1956 and 1960.
“Tokyo is an important City as it set the start of Kenya’s long and successful history of getting medals for the last 55 years,” said Tuwei.
The Kenyan delegation also had a meeting with the Techincal Team of Kurume City which covered the fine details of the partnership that involved the period of the camp, accommodation and critical but often overlooked items such as the food the team will be having during the Pre-Camp period.
Discussions centered on all matters relating to the Olympics and Paralympics teams and how to make their stay as comfortable as possible in order to enable them have best environment in preparation.
Today the team will tour the Training and Accommodation Facilities.
In August 2017, Kaberia led a Kenyan delegation to Kurume where he signed a MOU with the then mayor Toshinori Narahara with the city set to host kenya’s team in preparations to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games.