President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday presided over the reopening of the Nyayo National Stadium with a warning to Sports Kenya to ensure that the facilities that the government is constructing and refurbishing are managed well.
At the same time, Uhuru directed Sports Kenya and the Ministry of Sports to ensure that all the stadia that are under construction across the country are completed by December this year.
"These facilities must be managed well so that they don't fall into deplorable repairs state," said Kenyatta.
Among the arenas under construction are the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret, Kamariny Stadium in Elgeyo-Marakwet and Wote Stadium in Makueni among others.
The President directed the Ministry of Sports to enter into discussion with Mombasa, Kisii, Narok and Nakuru County governments to ensure that the stadiums being renovated in their regions meet the international standards.
Uhuru disclosed that plans are underway for Kenya Defence Forces to have a modern stadium at the Lang'ata Barracks.
He said the reopening of the Nyayo National Stadium that was constructed and opened in 1983 marked the first page of a new chapter of sports in Kenya. "Kenya's sportsmen and women will add new pages to affirm Kenya as a world sporting power house," said Kenyatta.
The Nyayo National Stadium was closed in 2017 for renovations ahead of the failed Africa Nations Championships (Chan) that saw Morocco step in to host the event in 2018.
He said the government will continue to work relentlessly to ensure that the World Under-20 Championships in athletics and Safari Rally are held successful next year despite the challenging times in the world of sports owing to Covid-19 pandemic.
Uhuru also called on the Ministry of Sports to double its efforts in the reopening of the sports arena.
"Some events have reopened but I want more efforts put in to ensure that major sporting disciplines are also reopened," explained Uhuru adding that Kenya's preparations for next year's Tokyo Olympic Games should be back on track.
Uhuru was accompanied by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo, Chief Administrative Secretary Hassan Noor, Sports Kenya chairman Fred Muteti, Sports Fund chairman Jack Tuwei among other dignitaries.