Kenya: Amina, Okudo Efforts in Nyayo Facelift Impressive

A visit to the Nyayo National Stadium on Tuesday this week kept me thinking and excited at the same time.

Excited, first, because, finally, action is headed back to the city after three years of us having to travel elsewhere, including the neighbouring Machakos' Kenyatta Stadium, and even as far as Meru's Kinoru Stadium.

I am actually talking about football.

Second, thinking because I am waiting for the sport I love most -- athletics -- to be adequately catered for.

The laying of a new synthetic track at Nyayo may be pending, but the good news is that we've been promised by the Sports Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohamed, that this is the next step.

That has made me excited.

To be honest, the current Ministry of Sports leadership - headed by CS Amina and her Principal Secretary Joe Okudo - has done a wonderful job at the Nyayo National Stadium, and the whole sports fraternity can't wait for action to resume.

For the athletics family, we are hoping that the tartan can be laid soonest so that we shift our events there once we contain Covid-19.

Watching the 1,500 metres trio of world champion Timothy Cheruiyot, Commonwealth gold medallist Elijah Manang'oi and Africa title holder Winnie Chebet train there on Tuesday morning got me even more excited, considering that it's been long since our athletes competed at the venue.

The smiles on their faces also said it all on how eager they are to return at their venue of choice.

The ambience at the VIP pavilion and other sitting areas makes one want to watch more and more sports.

The media personnel have also not been left out, with a room already designated as a Media Centre whenever there is a major event, and a Media Tribune is also coming up.

The stadium never had these provisions for media. The changing rooms have been given a facelift and construction work at the swimming pool area is almost complete.

In short, the Nyayo National Stadium is a one-stop shop.

How I wish the stadium's new track can be laid in time for the Nairobi leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour on September 26!

The one-day meeting will not only market Kenya to the outside world, but will also showcase Nyayo National Stadium as an international facility.

Kudos, Madam CS Amina!

I can only hope that this one last request of replacing the running track (including the one at the small warm-up area) will be honoured so that the venue can be ready in time for both President Uhuru Kenyatta to re-open it and the Continental Tour to be hosted here.

Hon. CS Amina, if you could also implore the Nairobi City County, or Nairobi Metropolitan Services for that matter, to allow your ministry work on Nairobi's City Stadium, we shall have little to complain about Nairobi's sports offerings.

Well done Waziri!

Korir is Athletics Kenya's Nairobi branch chairman. [email protected]

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