The Government will use an extra Sh600 million to refurbish Kenyatta University hostels that have been earmarked for athletes’ village for the World Under-18 Championships due July 12 to 16 next year.
According to Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario, the money is an additional budget to be used to upgrade the hostels to five-star hotel standards.
Earlier, Sh2 billion had been allocated for the championships.
The move is in line with efforts by IAAF to turn Kenyatta University into a High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) as part of a legacy of the World Under-18 Championships.
Last week, the event’s Local Organising Committee CEO Mwangi Muthee said IAAF would only transform KU into a HPTC if the government agrees to have the Under-18 Championships village at the university.
“This is an opportunity that we can’t miss since the centre will not only benefit our athletes but also technical officials. IAAF will definitely invest at the centre,” Wario said yesterday after receiving progress report from the Local Organising Committee in Nairobi. The Village will have fully-fledged ultra-modern equipment, including a modern running track that will benefit athletes from Kenya and East Africa region.
Wario confirmed that the Government has already released funds for the championships hence and what was remaining was implementation.
“All the procurement processes should be done within the coming week and everything should be running by the end of October,” said Wario.
Wario said a rapid response committee has been constituted to look into any challenges cropping up after it emerged that money for additional activities like the athletes village had not been factored in the budget.
“I shall seek the help from education ministry to boost renovations at Kenyatta University to make it a world class athletes training centre,” said Wario.
Muthee said the IAAF is pleased that teams will be hosted at one venue unlike previous events where teams were scattered in hotels.
“All the rooms at Kenyatta University will be renovated with the facility benefiting from the same competition and warm up tracks that will be laid at Kasarani,” said Muthee.
Muthee said that the Kasarani arena, which will be closed by the end of October, will don a new blue running track for the day and night event.
Both local and IAAF engineers led by Cristian Burril from Italian track manufacturer, Mondo, accessed Kasarani and Kenyatta University tracks last week.