Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed has promised a memorable World Under-20 Athletics Championships that will be Covid-19 free and secure.
Amina disclosed that besides allocating Sh332 million towards the refurbishment of the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, the venue of the world junior event, they have increased the budget of the event from Sh1.3billion to Sh1.5 billion.
The world junior competition was postponed from July 7-12 last year to August 17-22 this year owing to Covid-19 outbreak.
Close to 2,000 athletes drawn from 160 countries are due to take part in the six-day competition that will be watched by an estimated 100 million people through live broadcast.
Amina said in a speech read on her behalf by the Chief Administrative Secretary Simon Kachapin that they shall stop at nothing to ensure the safety of athletes, officials, media and fans at the World Under-20 Championships.
“We have a winning template and are working to seal any existing gaps. 2021 will be a great sporting year for our country, “read the speech in part during the World Under-20 Championships media briefing at Serena Hotel Monday.
“We have expanded the medical team to ensure that all the emerging pandemic protocols are fully applied in order to guarantee that the event will be free and secure from Covdi-19,” said Amina.
Amina thanked World Athletics, through its president Sebastian Coe, for the confidence they have shown in Kenya’s organisational acumen.
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“Time and again, Coe has expressed faith in our government’s strong support for the championships, and will continue to build our capacity as one of the foremost sporting hosts in the world, “intimated Amina.
Amina also commended Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jack Tuwei, who is also the 2021 World Under-20 Local Organising Committee chairman, for his prudent management of the sport in the country.
Amina challenged AK to adequately prepare Team Kenya to make an impact at the competition that will come just a week upon the completion of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“As a ministry, we shall spare no resources in ensuring that our athletes are well represented,”said Amina, promising to visit various training camps to assess the level of preparedness, besides offering necessary financial and material support.
Tuwei said they will have to stay on top of things in terms of a well-crafted publicity plan with the event coming one week after the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“I hope the world will have managed the Covd-19 situation well to allow some fans into the stadium,” said Tuwei.