Kurume City based at Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan has promised Team Kenya the best facilities and unforgettable experience during pre-Olympic training ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Fukuoka Prefecture deputy governor Akie Oomaga and Kurume City deputy mayor Toshikata Nakasima said the facilities at Kurume Sports Centre were going through the final touches adding that they will be ready to host Team Kenya in July.
Oomaga and Nakasima also took their time to also assure the world that the country will be free of Coronavirus since the Japanese government has sealed all the loopholes to ensure the country is free from the deadly virus.
The officials were speaking during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Kurume City, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) and the government of Kenya at Radisson Blu in Nairobi's Upper Hill.
The duo signed the deal on behalf of a high-powered delegation from Japan while NOC-K was represented by its President Paul Tergat with Principal Secretary for Sports Joe Okudo signing on behalf of the government.
Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Amina Mohammed, and Japan ambassador to Kenya, Ryoichi Horie, also witnessed the deal where Kurume City will host Team Kenya for 21 days before and a similar period after the Summer Games slates from July 24 to August 9 in the Japanese capital.
“We are happy that Kenya that has a rich Olympic Games history chose Kurume City and our people are excited to meet and host some of the world’s best in athletics,” said Oomaga in her speech. “We shall be happy to Kenya sevens rugby players.”
Oomaga noted that it will be a great opportunity for their young men and women who have aspirations to make it big in sports. “We shall provide excellent facilities and environment for Team Kenya as we wish them a fruitful Olympic camp,” said Oomaga.
Nakasima said he was delighted that the conversation that started in August 2017 to have Kurume City host Team Kenya has come to fruition. “We can only hope and pray for good health, happiness and great success for Team Kenya at the Olympics,” said Nakasima.
Amina said that the pre-Olympic camp will be a major milestone in fostering relationship between Kenya and Japan adding that the MOU will ensure Kenyan athletes access modern facilities in their quest for excellence.
“If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” said Amina adding that it will be important to prepare the team in the best environment possible and exposing the team to Kurume City that will have similar conditions as Tokyo is a wise move from Nock. “In addition to acclimatisation, there will be cultural, trade and industrialisation exchange.”
Tergat noted that Kurume City will provide training facilities, accommodation and transport from the team's base to Tokyo though he failed to reveal the financial details of the deal.
“The weather in Tokyo will be adverse and having the team in Kurume will help minimise on the effects. The partnership has come at the right time,” said Tergat adding that Kenya will be represented with the largest team ever at the Tokyo Summer Games.
Over 80 sportsmen and women have qualified for the Tokyo Games including men and women’s sevens rugby teams and women’s volleyball team.