NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 – The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) says it will spend Sh12mn to assist over 22 sports federations prepare and participate in qualification tournaments for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Each of the 22 federations, including fencing, Fencing, Bowling and Shooting is set to get at least Sh500,000 each to supplement their own budgets to aid in the qualification process for next year’s showpiece.
“We understand that some of our federations have been struggling financially so as a Committee, we have decided to step in with some little financial assistance,” NOCK president Paul Tergat said on Wednesday.
He added; “We have been working round the clock to see that more sports federations qualify for the Olympics and with this help we are offering, we help they can compete,” added the former Cross Country great.
Secretary General Francis Mutuku has also added that negotiations are ongoing with several other federations including softball and rollball to help them in qualification.
“This is the year whereby most of the qualification starts and we would like to help our federations because we realized that we have been losing out on the opportunity in the previous years. There are some new entrants to the Olympics and we are in discussion to see how more we can help them,” Mutuku asserted.
Meanwhile, the entire budget for next year’s games is expected to be completed by October with the final details set to be presented to the Sports Ministry for funding.
“We have written to all the federations and asked them to present their budgets. Once the qualification is completed and we know who is qualifying, we will then consolidate all those budgets into one and present it to the ministry,” Mutuku asserted.
-Forget Rio mess
Meanwhile, Tergat has affirmed that his new office is inclined to ensure the team does not face the same challenges they faced during the 2016 games in Rio, saying the team will be better managed this year.
“We know everything that happened in Rio and we want to let the processes that are already on take its course. We want to put that behind our backs now. We want to drive looking at the windscreen and not the side mirror,” Tergat noted.
He added; “We want to say sorry to Kenyans for all that happened, but we want to move on from it. We want to get things right for Tokyo 2020. Olympics comes once in four years and if we don’t get things right, we will be killing a lot of aspirations of our young people out there.”
There were cases of misappropriation of funds with blotted budgets, between former officials of the Olympics body and the sports ministry with the cases currently in court.