Renovated Nyayo stadium would be apt New Year gift

Thursday December 28 2017

Construction works at Nyayo National Stadium on September 12, 2017. The stadium was earmarked to stage some of the matches of the 2018 African Nations Championships before Confederation of African Football stripped Kenya of hosting rights over lack of preparedness. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Construction works at Nyayo National Stadium on September 12, 2017. The stadium was earmarked to stage some of the matches of the 2018 African Nations Championships before Confederation of African Football stripped Kenya of hosting rights over lack of preparedness. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BARNABAS KORIR
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As we wait to usher in the New Year 2018, I have concerns which I believe affect each and everyone in the sporting fraternity.

Nyayo Stadium is on my mind today hence the question – what next for this important venue for sports in Kenya.

For beginners, Nyayo Stadium was closed for renovation approximately five month back in readiness for the 2018 African Nations Championship.

However, the country lost the hosting rights of the event due to poor preparations. As we speak today, Morocco is preparing to play host to Chan next month.

Anyway, that notwithstanding, life has to continue and we still need Nyayo for other events. The sad news is that everything stalled immediately it was announced that Kenya had lost the hosting rights to the African football event.

As we all know, next year will be a very busy year especially on the athletics front and over the years, Nyayo has been convenient not only for us but the fans in general.

We can’t therefore sit back and pretend everything is normal. Something has to be done for the sake of the future.

The fact that Nyayo Stadium is not in operation is very inconveniencing, especially for the athletes who used to train there regularly in readiness for international competitions.

What I am saying is that Nyayo Stadium needs to be operational for the sporting fraternity to continue with their programmes there.

It is common knowledge that teams and athletes are spending a lot of money they don’t have in search of alternative venues. Teams in football, for example, have either to go all the way to Machakos or Thika to honour their matches.

If we are serious about promoting sports, Nyayo Stadium renovation should be a priority for the government as we usher in the New Year.

Remember, we have an elaborate program before the Commonwealth Games and we dearly need Nyayo Stadium.

Commonwealth Games involve a number of disciplines and we will definitely need Nyayo Stadium as an alternative training venue.

A lot of people are suffering especially special categories with the closure of the venue. We all know that accessing Kasarani for such special groups is even rather difficult.

I think the best gift the government can give the sporting fraternity in the New Year is not only to make Nyayo Stadium operational once again but also give other venues around the country a facelift.