The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has already settled for Japan’s Kurume City to host Kenya’s pre-Olympic Games camp.
In May this year, a high-powered Kenyan delegation — led by Sports Principal secretary Kirimi Kaberia —toured the city, which is in Fukuoka Prefecture, to assess its facilities and convenience.
Also in the delegation was Kenya’s Ambassador to Japan, Solomon Maina, Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei, NOC-K First Deputy President Shadrack Maluki and acting Secretary General Francis Mutuku.
The delegation visited the Kurume General Gymnasium, which has facilities for volleyball training along with gym and indoor venues for sports such as badminton and table tennis.
They also visited other training and accommodation facilities and were received by over 500 members of the Kurume City Hall staff, led by the city’s mayor, Tsutomu Okubo.
The delegation’s deliberations included a proposal to establish a “Kenya House” in Kurume where Kenyan artefacts and other materials will be on display.
“This could be, after the Olympics, developed into a museum to showcase Kenya reach culture and history,” Kaberia proposed with the team also exploring the possibility of a sports exchange programme between Japan and Kenya with Kenya standing to benefit from the immense technological advancement of Japan.
Ambassador Maina said the envisioned partnership will extend beyond sports and cover business and cultural exchanges beyond the 2020 Olympics
AK President Tuwei recounted the history of Kenya’s participation in the Olympics in which the first two outings of 1956 and 1960 Kenya didn’t get a medal.
However, it was in Tokyo 1964 that Kenya won its first medal through Wilson Kiprugut in men’s 800 metres race (then the 880 yards).