New Kenyan Nike kit gets cold shoulder
Kenyan athletes will be wearing a new look kit at this year’s Olympic Games after multinational sportswear firm Nike unveiled bringing to an end the traditional red and black kit that has long been associated with Kenya.
World 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot modelled the kit that was unveiled in New York alongside other countries including USA, China, Canada, Brazil, and Germany.
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) president Paul Tergat who attended the event on Wednesday said the kit will kick start a new era for Kenyan athletes.
“Witnessing the unveiling of the Team Kenya Kit for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics today in New York brings with it vivid memories of my pride and fulfilment when I donned the famous red, green and black national colours to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as well as the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
The Kenyan colours as represented by the newly designed kit launched today are synonymous with our Olympics success. Our athletes have colourfully dominated the track and our boxers have left a mark on the ring at the Summer Games for decades. The uniqueness of the design reflects the vibrant culture of Kenya, ” said Tergat.
Tergat further revealed that the new kit will be officially launched in Nairobi in April when the entire kit for different disciplines are launched.
“In Tokyo, I’m looking forward to watching the Rugby 7’s as well as the women’s volleyball teams in our national colours. NOC-K will launch the full range of kit in April in Nairobi,” he said.
The public will also have an opportunity to buy the merchandise once it is officially launched.
“It’s also exciting that for the first time, official Team Kenya replicas will be available for purchase. There has always been a huge interest in our team’s merchandise and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya welcomes the move since our kit is among the most sought after across the globe,” added Tergat.
According to Nike, the newly designed kits for Track and Field athletes are efficient in managing sweat.
“The 2020 Athletics Uniform pieces are engineered from an entirely new Nike Dri-FIT Aeroswift material that helps athletes manage sweat and feel more comfortable while limiting seams and minimizing layers.
“Nike Dri-FIT is a unique construction that supports the body’s natural cooling system by wicking away sweat and dispersing it evenly throughout the surface of the garment; sweat evaporates quickly, helping athletes to manage heat and moisture,” Nike said in a statement.
However, back at home the new-look kit has elicited mixed reactions with others subscribing to it while others are against it.
Here is a sample of the reactions of Kenyans online.
“The Kenyan kit is great. One just need to wear the right size. Nike did a good job. The Sports ministry would have given us worse,” said Karen Omollo on twitter.
“Nike, whoever you paid to design Kenyan kit, kindly consider asking for a refund. This is a way down, compare with the one you designed for US, Canada and Brazil. Lets stay with the older one,” said another twitter user Sir John.
“Big miss. What colours are these even? The kit needs to be in our flag’s colours as it has always been,” another user said.
“Please don’t launch. Let’s use the previous kit. This one is not good at all,” Ignatius Odhiambo said on Facebook.