Uganda: Cheptegei Opens New Athletics Track in Kween

26 February 2021

Kween — A new athletics track has been opened in Kween district in Sebei Sub-region in the bid to nurture and develop talent.

The track, which is found in Cheminy trading centre, Kaproron Town Council, was officially opened by a Ugandan long distance runner and world champion, Joshua Cheptegei.

He was accompanied by Halimah Nakaayi, a gold medalist in the 800m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships.

Cheptegei, recently made history by breaking the world record in the men's 5000 metres during the Diamond League Athletics Meeting at The Louis II Stadium in Monaco on August 14, 2020.

He also holds four other world records in 5km, 1.5km, 5,000m, and 10,000m.

During the ceremony on Tuesday, Cheptegei said the initiative is intended to tap, groom and also provide a more conducive environment to develop talents.

"This is intended to provide a more conducive environment, so that the country can tap and groom more sports personalities," he said.

He said that sports complex worth about Shs1 billion will also be built in partnership with Kween local government and Global Sports Communication at Chemwania Primary School.

The complex will have a swimming pool, basketball court, football pitch, tennis court and a 2000 seater pavilion when fully completed.

"I appeal to the business community in Sebei and the country at large to support this development so that we can use it to nurture talent," he said.

Jacob Kiplimo, the world half marathon reigning champion, who hails from the same district, said the initiative has been long overdue.

"For so long we have advocated for development of this pitch, so that our young athletics don't have to move a long distance for a sports facility," he said.

Rev. Hosea Musobo Langat, the chairman of the fundraising committee for construction of the complex, said they need about Shs60m to start the first phase.

Langat said Sebei and other neighbouring sub-region are endowed with talent, which remains unexploited.

"Other countries have had affirmative action to develop talents but in our country, we are not yet there," he said.

Lawrence Kavuma, a representative from Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) said opening of the track will aid talent growth in the country.

"This is going to aid the development of talent in this region and we are behind the initiative," he said.

Last year, Cheptegei under his foundation, Joshua Cheptegei Development Foundation (JOCDEF) organised children's annual run, which was also aimed at nurturing talent.

The run, which took place at Kwot Primary School in Kapchorwa municipality in December attracted children below the age of 16.

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