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Nyeri sports apathy irks locals and stakeholders

Thursday February 2 2017

James Gitau leads a training pack during a speed work session at the Ruring’u Stadium in Nyeri on Tuesday ahead of this Saturday’s Nyahururu Discovery 10-kilometre Road Race in honour of former Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru. Athletes in Nyeri are unhappy that the county could not raise a mere Sh34,800 to organise a county cross country championship. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI |

James Gitau leads a training pack during a speed work session at the Ruring’u Stadium in Nyeri on Tuesday ahead of this Saturday’s Nyahururu Discovery 10-kilometre Road Race in honour of former Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

JOSEPH KANYI
By JOSEPH KANYI
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Nyeri County’s failure to host its annual cross country championships due to lack of Sh34,800 to meet the bill continued to draw sharp criticism from sports stakeholders with some calling for the scrapping of the sports docket in the county government “as it served no purpose.”

The county last week failed to host its annual competition to pick athletes for the regional championships and, eventually, the national championships with the local Athletics Kenya sub-branch saying it had just Sh15,200 against a budget of Sh50,000.

Subsequently, Nyeri County will not be represented in this Central regional championships that will be held at the Makuyu Golf Course in Murang’a County on February 11.

Nyeri Athletics Kenya sub-branch chairman Mutahi Kahiga said it was ironic that the county government officials has been receiving medallists from various global championships but did not care to know how or where the athletes train.

Following the cancellation of the county cross country championships, Nyeri athletes went to Murang’a County where they, interestingly, dominated the competition and qualified for the regional meet at Makuyu.

“We will be competing at the regional competition as the Murang’a team, and not as Nyeri, and we hope to beat all the odds to make to the national team for the World Cross Country Championships,” said Paul Maina, a two-time Mombasa Marathon champion who finished second in the 10-kilometre race at the Murang’a championships.

Veteran journalist Colin Mcbeth said signs of the death of Nyeri County sports were already on the wall as demonstrated by the neglected stadiums and training grounds.

Nyeri Deputy Governor Samuel Wamathai could not comment comprehensively, instead saying the matter “should be followed up with the county sports executive.”

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