Athletics Kenya on Wednesday received a major inducement in its quest to conquer the world after the National Bank of Kenya (NBK) drew them a Sh30 million cheque to finance its track and field calendar for 2011.
The cash will boost the country’s hopes to dominate the World Championships set for Daegu, South Korea, in August.
Reuben Marambii, NBK’s managing director, said the senior track and field programme will take a lion’s share of the funding, with Sh15 million, while the youth and children’s athletics will enjoy a boost of Sh13 million.
The now annual, end-of-season AK Golden Gala will receive Sh2 million.
AK has a busy calendar for 2011 and the association’s vice-chairman, Jackson Tuwei, said it will require more corporate support for them to attain their goals.
“It is a busy year for us and the money we have received will help us get there,” said Tuwei who recently retired as the commander of the Kenya Army.
“There is the Africa Cross Country Championships, Africa Junior Championship, the World Cross Country Championships, World Championships and the World Youth Championships.”
The bank replaces New KCC, who funded track and field for two years, and has tripled the amount the milk processing firm used to provide. New KCC had signed a sponsorship deal worth Sh5.6 million.
“This sponsorship does not mean we have closed the door on AK. There are other regional events and other needs that can come up, and you are free to talk to us,” Marambii told AK.