7 November 2012

Uganda/Kenya: Construction of Athlete's Training Centre Hit By Funds Shortage

KAPCHORWA - Despite undertaking most of the ground work towards building Uganda's first fully fledged training centre, hopes of completing the athletics centre appear to be fading.

As a result,more Ugandan athletes, including Olympics marathon Gold medallist Stephen Kiprotich, have decided to shift to Kenya for all their training needs.

In August, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni pledged during Kiprotich's welcome dinner that the High Altitude Training Centre in Kapchorwa would be completed within one year.

However, lack of funds in the Ministry of Education and Sports has virtually stalled the entire project.

The road works to the centre, which was meant to prepare athletes for next year's World Championships due in August in Moscow, has also been frustrated by a lack of funds.

"Power is still a problem. Although the sh500m project was approved last year as among those in the Rural Electrification Scheme for this year," Acting commissioner for sports Omara Apitta said yesterday.

"The ministry of energy says there are no funds available. Construction of the centre cannot start without power at the site," Apitta added.

Apita however pointed that the ministry had already approved sh150m which will be paid to National Water and Sewerage Corporation as part of the sh490m fund budgeted for piped water to Teryet.

Last week, Kiprotich returned to Eldoret for further training where he joined a host of other Ugandan athletes in Iten. They include Olympian Jane Suuto, World Military Games gold medallist Simon Ayeko, Daniel Kurong and Adero Nyakisi among others.

Sh300m was paid to Kapchorwa district authorities for compensation and relocation of the school on the site.

The high altitude centre is aimed at helping national athletes train for international meets. It will have a three-lane track, field, swimming pool, physiotherapy strength and gymnasium, hostel and hotel.

It will facilitate football, swimming, rugby, cycling and athletics as the pioneer sports.

International governing bodies of athletics, soccer and rugby also promised to support the project.

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