NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 5 – The County Government of Nandi says it will spend Sh250mn in constructing a state-of-the-art training complex in Kapsabet to be named in honor of Olympic champion and World Record holder Eliud Kipchoge.
According to Nandi Governor Stephen Arap Sang, the 200-bed facility which will include gym, lecture halls, health facility, restaurant and a mini athletics track will be constructed as an annex to the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret.
“As a county, we pride ourselves in being the source of champions. You can’t nurture this kind of talent if you don’t have the facilities to do so and that is why we have decided to construct this facility,” Sanga told Capital Sport.
“The contractor is already on site and work is at 25pc. We have allocated already Sh90mn from this financial year and we will allocate a further Sh60mn in the next year. We will spend another Sh100mn to equip it and we hope that by September next year, it should be ready for use,” Sang further stated.
Kipchoge meanwhile says he is pleased to have such an honor of having a facility named after him and says what is big for him will be the opportunity to mentor young athletes especially on talent development and thorny issue of doping.
“I really want to thank the county for this chance because it is a great honor. For me, it is not even about having a facility named after me, but what I can do for future generations in terms of mentoring the young professional athletes and those in school,” the Olympic champion and World Record holder stated.
Sang meanwhile states that the facility will be a hub to tap and nurture more talent with the Berlin Marathon having given a protraction of just how much talent the county has.
Both Kipchoge and second placed Amos Kipruto as well as women’s winner Gladys Cherono all hailing from the county.
Sang has admitted that the talent scattered all over the six constituencies of the county have not been harnessed and guarded in the right way and this, is juts about to change with the opening of the facility.
“The idea is to have a wholesome approach to ensure athletes are well trained. We are also developing other satellite facilities across Nandi but more important, we will have a fully equipped central place including conference facilities which can be used to bring athletes together, give them life coaching and more importantly, train those who are professionals on things such as financial management,”
“We will also look at addressing the doping menace because it is something that threatens to derail our sport,” the Governor further stated.
At the same time, Sang has challenged the national government to increase its allocation for sports, saying athletes have brought this country more glory and the money that is budgeted for the sports ministry is a drop in the ocean over what is actually expected.
“Other than tourism and agriculture, one other key economic venture in Kenya is sports.. if there are ambassadors who have branded country globally then they are athletes. But, the budget allocation by the national government is disappointing,”
“If you want to reap from our sportsmen, then we must be ready to invest especially in facilities for them to train. The national government needs to do more,” the Governor pointed out.
His sentiments were shared by Mosop legislator Vincent Tuwei.
“What the national government gives to sports is peanuts. As legislators we have to fight to ensure this allocation is increased. The ministry of sports is one of the most under-funded by the government and we cannot allow this,” he noted.