By KNA Nyeri.
Two Olympic champions have decried at the poor state of sporting facilities in Nyeri and are calling on the county government to improve the same as a way of developing sports talent in the area.
Olympic 400 metres hurdles silver medalist Boniface Mucheru Tumuti and women’s 800 metres bronze medalist Margaret Wambui Nyairera particularly singled out Ruring’u stadium on the outskirts of Nyeri town that has been neglected for years and only serves as grazing field for livestock.
Speaking yesterday during the homecoming ceremony for Mucheru at his home in Gakawa sub location, in Kieni constituency, the athletes regretted that the poor state of stadiums and sports facilities in the county was a deterrent to upcoming sportsmen and women in the region.
Nyairera told of how her dreams of representing the country in the Olympics was almost cut short after she suffered a career threatening injury while training at Ruring’u stadium due to its poor state and was forced to seek an alternative training ground at Ihururu upon recovery from the injuries.
Former Marathon champion Catherine Ndereba who was also present challenged the government to fast track issuance of the title deed of Ruring’u stadium to the county government in order to enable for upgrade. Currently the title deed to the stadium is held by the Agricultural Society of Kenya.
Area MP Kanini Kega also implored on the government to improve sports facilities across the country as a way of nurturing talent noting that the industry could provide livelihoods to many if well exploited.
“The Jubilee government promised to upgrade five stadia across the country to international standards, we would like to see that happen so that our youth could utilize the same to develop their talents.” Kega said.
He noted that Ruring’u stadium had served as a training ground for former world beaters such as the legendary Kipchoge Keino in his hey days as a champion but regrettably the facility is now in ruins.