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Kenyan athletics fans ready to raid Kampala

The Kenyan team to the World Cross Country Championships pose for a group photo with sponsors, AK and government officials at their Kigari Training facility on March 8, 2017.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Wednesday, March 16 – At least eight buses have been made available to transport Kenyan fans to next week’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships at the Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala, Uganda on March 26.

Athletics Kenya President, Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jack Tuwei has committed one bus from the federation to ferry some fans across the border to cheer Team Kenya, while politicians Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko and former Cabinet Minister Nicholas Biwott will sponsor a bus each to depart from Nairobi and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties respectively.

Athletics Kenya’s Central Rift branch chairman Abraham “Solo” Mutai has also offered a bus to carry fans from Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County to Uganda while the Kenya Prisons Service, courtesy of Deputy Commissioner General of Prisons Benjamin Njoga, have also made available one bus.

The Kenya Police Service, along with the Kenya Prisons Service, provide the bulk of the Team Kenya athletes who are currently training at the St Mark’s Teachers Training College in Kigari, Embu County.

Kenya Prisons Service athletes include Africa Cross Country and 10,000 metres champion Alice Aprot, who will compete in the 10-kilometre race in Kampala, and Olympic 800 metres bronze medalist Margaret Nyairera Wambui who will feature in the newly-introduced mixed relay race.

Another bus will transport fans from Nairobi courtesy of Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch chairman Barnabas Korir while the federation’s national treasurer David Miano has also made available a bus that will depart from Nyahururu to Kampala, while another bus will leave for the Ugandan capital from Nyamira County.

Athletics Kenya recently appointed a committee to mobilize support for Team Kenya which will be captained by world record holder in the 10 and 15-kilometre road races, Patrick Komon.

The committee has today appealed for more individuals and corporates to come on board and sponsor buses to ferry fans for the championship that will be held on Sunday, March 26.

“While individuals sponsoring buses have the first option of selecting the fans to take the ride to Kampala, we are appealing to more individuals and corporates to avail more buses so that we cheer our team to glory in Kampala,” the committee said.

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“We agreed that fans shall be selected from various regions and institutions, and the list of names, with their ID numbers and contacts, shall be submitted to the committee by Friday, March 17. This shall give room for making reservations for accreditation, ticketing and other formalities,” the committee added.

Athletics Kenya Chief Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“Each fan selected should be in possession of the required documents for travel, among them national identification documents like identity card or passport and yellow fever certificate.

“Besides, the fans should be ready to cater for their meals and a one day’s accommodation, which in total is calculated to be a minimum of Sh3,000 per person, as the sponsored buses will only carry the fans to and from Kampala with no provision for accommodation or meals, unless the individuals and organisations sponsoring the individual buses choose to extend their generosity and cover these incidentals,” the committee added.

The committee also released the travel itinerary as follows:

Convergence at Nrb – 24th March, 10.00Hrs Departure from Nrb KICC – 24th March 12.00Hrs Arrival of all buses in Eldoret – 24th March, 20.00Hrs Departure of all buses from Eldoret – 24th March, 23.45Hrs Arrival in Kampala Uganda – 25th March 12.00Hrs Departure from Kampala – 26th March, 23.45Hrs Arrival in Eldoret – 27th March, 12.00Hrs

Meanwhile, in Kampala, the Kenyan fans will also make a donation at the Missionaries of the Poor Home through a partnership with Kenyans living in Kampala.

Already the Kenyans in Kampala, under the “WaKenya Pamoja” group, have collected food, clothing, books and other donations to be presented to the home as part of the celebrations of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and Kenya’s success in these championships.

The Kenyan travelling fans are also requested to purchase whatever little they can to offer as a donation to the home for underprivileged children and adults which currently has a population of 450. After the donation, the Kenyan fans will be treated to music and a barbecue in Kampala during their overnight stay ahead of the action on Sunday, March 26.

At the Kampala championships, Kenya will be chasing all individual and team gold medals after losing out to Ethiopia at the last championships at the Guiyang Horse Racing Circuit in China in 2015.

Ethiopia won all but one of the team gold medals and led the standings in the medals table with five gold medals, two better than Kenya who won the senior individual titles through Geoffrey Kamworor and Agnes Tirop besides the junior men’s team title.

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“When Kenya hosted the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa in 2007, Kenya topped the table with five gold medals. We want to improve this performance in Kampala which is as good as our home also as the championships return to our region, and that’s why we are supporting this fans bus campaign to rally support for Team Kenya,” AK President Jack Tuwei said.

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