NAIROBI, October 16 – The Government is yet to approve the budget for Nairobi’s 2017 IAAF World Youth Championships holding back the event’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) from starting preparations.
Athletics Kenya (AK) vice-president, retired Lieutenant General Jackson Tuwei, announced they are behind schedule as they needed to hit the ground at the beginning of the year.
“We have met six times as the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and we have identified and know exactly what we want to do but the only thing holding us back is the budget which we have now worked on and presented it to the ministry.
“It’s being presented to the treasury in Mombasa and as soon as it’s approved, we will go in full force but we are behind schedule,” Tuwei explained.
Kenya will start from scratch in preparing for the biennial competition opened to athletes aged below 17 years since they lack basics like equipment and an international standard warm-up track as required by the governing body IAAF in the chosen venue.
With the proposed Nyayo National Stadium yet to be renovated, Cabinet Secretary for Sports Arts and Culture, Dr. Hassan Wario said the event could be moved to Kasarani but Tuwei declared they will have to follow the normal procedure.
“Last year when we went to present the bid in Monaco, we were with the minister and we had indicated Nyayo National Stadium so if there is going to be any change then we will have to inform IAAF.
“We will discuss with the minister and LOC to see the best way of going about it,” Tuwei who is tipped to replace long serving AK president, Isaiah Kiplagat asserted.
As a host, the federation is keen on fielding participants in all the events with plans to collaborate with the Ministry of Education Science and Technology to identify athletes aged between 13 and 14 put in camp, one and half year before the event.
“We have a strategy in place where we have agreed to have both our budgets including that of the ministry of education need to get slightly more than normal so that we can put them in the camp after identifying them not only in schools but also in the region,” the retired Lieutenant General, stated.
Meanwhile, the AK Executive Committee is planning a grand send-off for long-serving president, Isaiah Kiplagat who has served for the federation for 40 years after he hinted at ending his tenure.
“We are organising a farewell for Kiplagat who has been the president for this federation for a long time. We want to have a befitting ceremony for somebody who has worked for athletics over 40 years.
“He has achieved a lot therefore in our next Executive Committee meeting we will discuss on how we can fete him because we are thinking either of regarding him as honorary president,” Tuwei, said.