NAIROBI, Kenya, June 10 – The Sports sector has received a financial boost after Cabinet Secretary for Treasury Ukur Yatani allocated Sh15 billion to the to the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund as well as Sh90 million for the refurbishment of reginal stadia as he tabled the 2021/2022 national budget before parliament on Thursday afternoon.
The allocation is an increase from the Sh14 billion handed to the Fund in last year’s budget.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the stringent containment measures significantly affected Tourism, Sports, Culture and Arts sectors, to support recovery of this sectors, I have proposed an allocation of Sh15 billion for the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund and Sh90 million for refurbishment of regional stadium,” the Treasury CS announced.
This comes as good music to the ears of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts ahead of the three major sporting activities that the country will compete in and are all funded by the government.
The three are headlined by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games to be hosted in Japan from July 24 – August 8 while other events include the WRC Safari Rally scheduled for June 24-27, the World Athletics Under-20 Championships slated for August 17-22 and the World Athletics Continental Tour set for September in Nairobi.
Already, the federations have benefited from the Sports Fund kitty with the government financing all the qualifiers of various games in Olympics and Paralympics among others.
On the Sh 90 million for Stadia, this will see the completion of most of the pending works in several sports facilities including Kip Keino in Eldoret and Kamariny in Elgeyo Marakwet. Already, the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground in Kisumu is almost completed.
Earlier this week, Sports CS Amina Mohamed said the Ministry is looking to set up sports academies across the country and was upbeat of finishing the remaining regional stadia.
“We are working hard to complete as many sports stadia as we can after the Jomo Kenyatta Stadium in Kisumu, we are hoping the two in Tharaka and Meru will be ready soon, we are also working on the Kirinyaga one, in Kirigiti, Nyeri and Marsabit. We intend to work on a few others after we are done with those,” CS Amina said.
“We are working hard to make sure that the stadia are spread across the country and that our young people have the opportunity to train and develop their talent. We are hoping that we will put up some academies across the country and hopeful by December we will have a few done and showcase as models for the rest of the counties,” Amina added.