State of Stadia: Despite gov’t pledge, Kamariny and Keino remain an eyesore

State of Stadia: Despite gov’t pledge, Kamariny and Keino remain an eyesore

The famous Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret and Kamariny Stadium in Elgeyo Marakwet are both iconic.

The two grounds have been the conveyor belt  of athletics talent in the expansive Rift Valley region.

Sadly, with each passing day, the state of the facilities remain deplorable if not an eyesore.

In 2017, the national government began the refurbishment of the two facilities but nothing much has come out of it; leaving athletes desperate as they stare helplessly at the unfolding farce that is a government promise.

This has affected thousands of upcoming athletes training in the region who now terms the Jubilee government’s promise of refurbishing the facilities a ‘dishonour’ to athletes who have brought fame and glory to the nation.

“It is a shame that we were celebrating Eliud Kipchoge’s victory the other day yet we are suffering with nowhere to train,” two-time Linz marathon winner Elias Kiptum said.

But it is not just the athletes who have been hit hard. Coaches are not spared either as they too find it difficult to train athletes due to deplorable conditions, with many of them now opting to use roads for training, exposing themselves to grave danger.

“I find it difficult to train athletes during rainy season because the stadiums are muddy; it’s really shameful,” Benard Chepkong’a, an Eldoret based athletics coach said.

Some of the athletes attribute poor performance in international races especially track events to poor sports facilities.

“We are facing serious challenges from Ethiopian athletes in 3,000 metres steeplechase because they have good facilities, for now we have to just concentrate,” Kiptum lamented.

CEC in charge of sports in Elgeyo Marakwet County Anita Kimwatan blames the national government, saying the future of athletics in the country is at risk.

Kimwatan said the county government had commenced renovation of Kamariny in 2015 in phases with a paltry Sh200, 000 being allocated, but it remains just that, a pledge!

According to her, the renovations were halted after an agreement with Sports Kenya to take over and to date nothing has been done.

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