alexa Wakiriogo Stadium more of a footpath and grazing ground - Daily Nation

Wakiriogo Stadium more of a footpath and grazing ground

Sunday September 15 2019

A well used footpath cuts through the Wakiriogo Stadium in Kipipiri in this picture taken on September 11, 2019. Football stakeholders want the county government to employ a caretaker to keep out trespassers and allow the grass to grow. PHOTO | DAVID MACHARIA |

A well used footpath cuts through the Wakiriogo Stadium in Kipipiri in this picture taken on September 11, 2019. Football stakeholders want the county government to employ a caretaker to keep out trespassers and allow the grass to grow. PHOTO | DAVID MACHARIA |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

DAVID MACHARIA
By DAVID MACHARIA
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Miharati town in Kipipiri sub county of Nyandarua is at the foot of the Aberdare Ranges.

The cold wind blowing from the mountains to the town and rain that usually falls unexpectedly are some of the effects of these mountains you are likely to encounter while watching a football match at the Wakiriogo Stadium located at the heart of Miharati town.

Kipipiri sub county in Nyandarua with a population of 40,000 has the highest number of football teams in the county.

The stadium is home ground for 20 teams. They include Manunga, Ghetto, Kanyua, Nyati Junior, Machinery, Leeds United, Mahinga, Gordan, Malewa Rangers and Ihiga. Others are Rutumo, Kahiga, Kabati Rangers, Cereals United, Bondeni, Githima, Magutu, Malewa Junior, Wazee FC and Kirima United.

Unfortunately, Wakiriogo Stadium, where these teams play, has not attracted much attention from the County government.

Sheep graze at the Wakiriogo Stadium in Kipipiri in this picture taken on September 11, 2019. Football stakeholders want the county government to employ a caretaker to keep out trespassers and allow the grass to grow. PHOTO | DAVID MACHARIA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Sheep graze at the Wakiriogo Stadium in Kipipiri in this picture taken on September 11, 2019. Football stakeholders want the county government to employ a caretaker to keep out trespassers and allow the grass to grow. PHOTO | DAVID MACHARIA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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The stadium is named after the first person in Kipipiri to become a chief — Wanjohi Wakiriogo - now deceased.

He is the one who set aside the ground to be used as a sports facility.

During football matches at the stadium, a majority of throw-ins are from the western side of the stadium compared to the eastern flank. This is because the playing field is inclined towards the west side where the ball mostly rolls.

“The throw-ins from that side increase if it rains since the ball remains in the lower side in most of the time as the field becomes slippery,” said Mike Mbugua, a youth who is a fan of Kirima United, one of the teams that play their matches at the stadium.

The teams participate in the annual sub county league, according to area sports co-ordinator, Moses Kuria.

Kuria said he has tried several times without success to have the playing field levelled by the county government. For now, it seems the football teams using Wakiriogo stadium have to be contented with the sloping playing surface since the county government has no immediate plan to work on the facility.

The County Executive for Youth, Sports and the Arts, Dominic Murani told Nation Sport that “for now the focus is building Ol Kalou stadium.”

ABLUTION BLOCK BUILT

Murani however said the Wakiriogo Stadium has been fenced to secure it and an ablution block built.

He said other stadiums including Wakiriogo will be worked on after the flagship Ol Kalou stadium is completed in the next two years or so.

Kuria, who is also the Nyandarua Athletics Kenya Publicity officer said the stadium in its current condition can’t hold a track and field event.

He said the stadium cannot have a track because the toilet built by the County government sits so much on the area meant for the running track.

Despite lacking a standard stadium, Kipipiri has its share of athletes, according to Kuria.

Among the renowned athletes from the area who are now retired are marathoner James Kagwe and 1,500 metres star runner Naomi Mugo of Kenya Defence Forces.

“Kipipiri is endowed with athletics talent and if the stadium is made to standard, the area can become a powerhouse in the sport in the county.

“Kipipiri had nine athletes in the Central regional athletics team that participated in the National secondary schools championships this year,” the County AK Kenya PRO said.

He appealed to the county government to improve the facility and employ a caretaker who will ensure people stop grazing animals in the stadium and walking through it on their way to and from Miharati town.

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