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Scruffy Bomet Green Stadium a sports facility only in name

Monday June 29 2020
bomrt_pix

A sagging volleyball post at the Bomet Green stadium which has been turned to a political rally and agricultural exhibition ground .PHOTO | VITALIS KIMUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By VITALIS KIMUTAI

Bomet Green Stadium, once a vibrant venue for sports competitions, is now known for other activities other than games.

The venue is mostly used to host political rallies, religious crusades and agricultural field days.

It is also utilised by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), Kenya Police Service, Prisons department and National Youth Service during their respective recruitment exercises.

The stadium is ringed with a fence, not much for security purposes, but to wade off land grabbers.

In fact, the defunct Bomet Municipal Council did allocate portions of the field.

A scruffy, uneven football pitch and an unkempt volleyball ground greet you when you enter the stadium.

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For a long time the pitch has been a grazing ground for cattle owned by local residents even though authorities are now trying to restrict access.

Recently, county government officials closed two stadium gates to prevent some herd of cattle from entering to graze.

A dais and toilets were constructed at the stadium during Isaac Rutto's tenure as governor while a fence was reinforced by his predecessor the late Joyce Laboso.

Three separate public toilet blocks are not functional forcing people attending public functions at the venue to  answer their call of nature in the open.

It is only the VIP toilets behind the dais that are functional at the stadium.

Occasionally, local football and volleyball teams practice at the facility.

Due to its poor state, schools and colleges rarely use the stadium for competitions as used to be the case in the past years.

Because of its black cotton soil and poor drainage the stadium the pitch is prone to flooding during the rainy season making it utterly unplayable.

“The county government should improve the field especially now that construction of the Bomet IAAF stadium may take years to be completed,” said Leonard Langat, the county’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman.

Langat added: “Being at the town centre it is the face of the county, thus the need for its status to be improved."

Previously, there were plans to turn the stadium into a recreational park but nothing came of it.

And at one time, authorities toyed with the idea of turning the stadium into a bus stage but perished the thought as the location is adjacent to the county headquarters, the County Commissioner's office and the Prisons department.

The stadium has floodlights on one section of the field that rarely function.

During school holidays business people hire the stadium and create an amusement park for children who can afford to enter and entertain themselves.

More regularly, agricultural institutions and companies have been hiring the stadium to hold exhibitions that attracting hundreds of people from the region and beyond.

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