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Kipchoge works next January

Saturday November 20 2010

By JONATHAN KOMEN [email protected] AND ABDUL SHERIFF [email protected]

Eldoret’s Kichoge Stadium is set to become the first track and field facility outside Nairobi to attain international standards after renovation works begin in January.

In Mombasa, the Shariff Nassir Foundation has pledged seats at the newly-erected Mvita football ground.

The Eldoret Municipality allocated 20 acres of land to Kipchoge Stadium, which also received Sh100 million from the government as pledged by President Mwai Kibaki at a homecoming ceremony for the triumphant Kenya team to the 2007 World Championships in Athletics in Osaka, Japan.

The facility also got Sh20 million from other donors through National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) chairman and legendary sportsman Kipchoge Keino, after whom it is named.

Seedbed of champions

The stadium is in a poor state despite its being the seedbed of athletics world beaters.


General (rtd) Daniel Opande, the Sports Stadia Management Board chairman, said SSMB will install high standard equipment, including laying of a tartan on the eight-lane track.

The perimeter wall and the gates will be refurbished, the changing room and parking expanded and a state-of-the-art athletes’ village constructed.

“We will strive to ensure it (stadium) attains international standards,” Gen. Opande said at the stadium.

“It will host an international championship.”

SSMB top officials, including CEO Benjamin Sogomo, and assistant minister Margaret Kamar were in the delegation that also had World 3,000m record holder Daniel Komen and marathon greats Tegla Loroupe and Moses Tanui. Prof. Kamar, the local MP, said Qatar will put up a multi-million-shilling sports complex in Eldoret.

Shariff Nassir Foundation chairman Abdullswamad Nassir said the facility will help local youth to avoid drug abuse. “We have to organise football competitions for the youngsters to improve skills,” said Nassir.