NOCK, Kurume City to reschedule Japan camp deal

The plan for Kenyan athletes to train in Japanese City of Kurume in Fukuoka Prefecture prior to the Olympic Games will be rescheduled to new dates following the postponement of Olympics to 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic.

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) and Kurume City officials entered a partnership on February where Kenyan athletes were to train in the city for three weeks prior to the Games that were earlier slated for July 24 to August 9 in the Japanese capital, Tokyo.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the two was signed by the Cabinet Secretary of Sports Amina Mohammed alongside NOC-K president Paul Tergat with Fukuoka Prefecture Deputy Governor Akie Oomaga and Kurume City Deputy Mayor Toshitaka Nakashima.

While speaking to Radio Citizen Michezo na Burudani show on Saturday, NOC-K Acting Secretary General Francis Mutuku disclosed that they have commenced talks to reschedule the dates for the pre-Olympic camp.

“The deal is still on, what will only change is the dates. Our athletes were expected to start the camp on July but because the Games were postponed to next year, we have started talks with the officials of the city and we hope they will still host our team for 21 days before the Olympics kicks off next year,” Mutuku explained.

NOC-K had also approved a budget of Sh600 million for the Summer Games which according to Mutuku is likely to increase owing to the postponement of the biggest sports extravaganza.

“We expect the budget will increase because first the period of preparations for the Games will be much longer following the postponement. Secondly, we are worried of our athletes’ fitness level in post-coronavirus. We may end up spending more in preparing the different teams. We will therefore be reviewing the budget and then forward it to the steering committee for approval,” said Mutuku.

Mutuku has also welcomed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) move of creating Sh80 billion fund to address the Covid-19 crisis with Sh15 billion set aside for International federations, National Olympic Committees and IOC-recognized organisations.

At the same time, Mutuku revealed that the weekly webinar conducted by NOCK-K seeks to engage sports people on wide ranging issues affecting them at amidst the pandemic.

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