Kenya: NTV to Show World Athletics Under-20 Championships

Nation Media Group (NMG)has secured the broadcast rights for the World Under-20 Championships set for August 17-22 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe and Cabinent Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed commended NMG for coming on board to ensure that millions will follow the championships on free to air Nation Television (NTV).

Speaking during the rights launch at Kasarani on Thursday, NMG CEO Stephen Gitagama promised to pull all the stops to ensure that the event is professionally covered.

Gitagama was accompanied by Amina, Nairobi World Under-20 CEO Mike Rabar and World Rally Championships Safari Rally CEO Phineas Kimathi.

Also present were athletes- national 100m record holder Mark Otieno, 200m sprinter Susan Nyambura and 2019 World Cross Country Under-20 champion Beatrice Chebet.

"We are committed to the development of sports in the country and that is why we are determined to bring to Kenya and the whole of Africa the latest in sports," said Gitagama, adding that NMG has invested in the latest technology in the world to make sure that NTV, Nation Newspaper and Nation Digital among other oulets are the people's favourite choice.

Gitagama singled out the success of last year's World Athletics Continental Gold Tour leg of Kip Keino Classic and London Marathon that NTV beamed lived.

"I assure Kenyans and the sporting world that we won't disappoint you. It's our hope that the youth and the general population will get to enjoy our coverage that will be handled by professionals, " said Gitagama.

Gitagama said it's NMG's dream to have more stars emerge from the championships that will take over from Olympic champions Eliud Kipchoge (marathon), David Rudisha (800m) and Faith Chepng'etich (1,500m).

Gitagama noted that the relationship between the media and sports is symbiotic.

"Sports need audience and reach and that is why it requires the media for reach. Sports is a great entity that holds Kenyans together," explained Gitagama, who expressed his satisfaction on the ongoing preparations for the world junior event.

Gitagama said hosting the event will be another great opportunity to show the world that Kenya is not only a super power in sports, but also organisation.

"Sports has the capacity to unite Kenyans regardless of their culture, tribe and race," said Gitagama.

He commended Amina for leading the campaign that saw Kenyan sportsmen and women being cushioned with money and food donations during the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

"The government stood up for athletes at the most difficult time and i would urge them to continue since we are not yet out from the challenges posed by Covid-19," said Gitagama.

Coe described NMG's move as phenomenal, adding that it affirms Kenya's love for athletics that is now a culture.

"This is an event that has produced superstars like David Rudisha and Faith Chepng'etich among others,"said Coe, who welcomed the world to Nairobi for yet another exciting event.

"Securing free to air broadcast rights for the event is commendable since it will ensure millions follow the event from Kasarani,"said Coe.

Amina noted that the support of Kenyan media has been phenomenal and called for the cementing of the relationship.

"The media has helped position Kenya as a world sporting hub and that is why we have incorporated media personalities in committees organising the Safari Rally, Olympic Games and World Athletics Under-20 Championships," noted Amina.

Amina said President Uhuru Kenyatta and World Athletics Under-20 Championships patron, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta have ensured that the ministry has the resources to host major events in the country.

Rabar said the crowd was the biggest selling point for the World Under-20 Championships.

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