Voice of Sport

Poland first to arrive in Nairobi as Margaret Kenyatta praises organisers of IAAF World U18 Championships

Kenya won the first IAAF World U18 Championships in 1999 and her team is poised to triumph in the final one taking place on home soil eight days’ time

We are ready: Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenya with youngsters of the national team that will take part in the IAAF World U18 Championships in Nairobi, July 12-16. Photo: LOC wu18nairobi2017
Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, the Patron of the Local Organising Committee for the IAAF World U18 Championships, with LOC Chief Executive Officer Mwangi Muthee, hold the symbolic key to the Athletes Village, Kenyatta University during the handing over ceremony on Tuesday morning. Others, from left are: Prof Paul Wainaina, acting Vice-Chancellor of KU; Chairman of the University Council Prof Shem Migot-Adholla; Dr Hassan Wario, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts; and Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia, Principal Secretary in MOSCA. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, the Patron of the Local Organising Committee for the IAAF World U18 Championships, with LOC Chief Executive Officer Mwangi Muthee, hold the symbolic key to the Athletes Village, Kenyatta University during the handing over ceremony on Tuesday morning. Others, from left are: Prof Paul Wainaina, acting Vice-Chancellor of KU; Chairman of the University Council Prof Shem Migot-Adholla; Dr Hassan Wario, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts; and Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia, Principal Secretary in MOSCA. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

POLAND, with a 31-strong member contingent arrive in Nairobi this evening (Tuesday) as the first foreign team to the IAAF World U18 Championships Kenya’s capital city is hosting between July 12 and 16.

The Poles will join the host team, two-time past overall winners of the championships started – incidentally in Poland — in 1999 and will be the last as IAAF remain with the U20 Championships as the only youth event.

Kenya is ready for the championships and frantic work to upgrade and spruce up infrastructure at the competition venue in Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani and Athletes Village Kenyatta University in Nairobi northern suburbs was concluding early in the week.

First Lady of Kenya Margaret Kenya tries one of the hand driers in the bathrooms at the Athletes Village in Kenyatta University on Tuesday morning. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

First Lady of Kenya Margaret Kenya tries one of the hand driers in the bathrooms at the Athletes Village in Kenyatta University on Tuesday morning. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

The refurbished single rooms for each of 2,000 people expected to stay at Athletes Villeage, Kenyatta University

The refurbished single rooms for each of 2,000 people expected to stay at Athletes Village, Kenyatta University

This morning, Thursday, Kenya’s First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta, wife the country’s President Uhuru Kenyatta officially received the symbolic key to Athletes Village at KU as contractors made the final touches to ready the hostel accommodation for 2,000 people and including a spacious kitchen, dining hall, medical centre and anti-doping control rooms and recreation space.

The university, collaborating with several ministries of the Kenya Government spent millions of shillings to turn ordinary five blocks of student accommodation to pleasant living space for athletes from about 131 countries.

David Gachuru (middle), general manager at Sarova Hotels Resorts and Game Lodges, the catering partners of the Local Organising Committee for the IAAF WU18 Championships, explains about the cookers at the kitchen in the Athletes Village, Kenyatta University. He has the attention of, from right; Gen Jackson Tuwei, the LOC Chairman; Gen Joseph Nkaisery, Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and Prof Paul Wainaina, acting Vice-Chancellor Kenyatta University. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

David Gachuru (middle), general manager at Sarova Hotels Resorts and Game Lodges, the catering partners of the Local Organising Committee for the IAAF WU18 Championships, explains about the cookers at the kitchen in the Athletes Village, Kenyatta University. He has the attention of, from right; Gen Jackson Tuwei, the LOC Chairman; Gen Joseph Nkaisery, Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and Prof Paul Wainaina, acting Vice-Chancellor Kenyatta University. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

The KU acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof Paul Wainaina was on hand to hand over the Athletes village to the First Lady who was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts Dr Hassan Wario; the Principal Secretary in the Ministry Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia and the Chief Executive Officer of the Local Organising Committee of the championships Mwangi Muthee.

“Today is a very exciting day for us as we gear up to launch the 10th Edition of the IAAF World U18 Championships,” said the First Lady at the handover function adding: “Indeed, a historic event for our country and for the East African region that will take place in eight days time in our capital city, Nairobi.

Earlier last week, Inspector General of Police Wilson Boinet inspected bathroom sinks at the Athletes Village accompanied by the university’s supply chain director Victoria Muema (left); Prof Vincent Onywera (partly hidden right); project manager Eng Dan Mwangi and Dr … Karagu, registrar finance and projects leader. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

Earlier last week, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinet inspected bathroom sinks at the Athletes Village accompanied by the university’s supply chain director Victoria Muema (left); Prof Vincent Onywera (partly hidden right); project manager Eng Dan Mwangi and Dr Nelson Karagu, registrar finance and projects leader. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

Inspector General of Police Wilson Boinet gives a security brief to senior officers and Kenyatta University administrators including from left; project manager Eng Dan Mwangi; Prof Vincent Onywera; supply chain director Victoria Muema and Dr … Karagu, registrar finance and projects leader. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinet gives a security brief to senior officers and Kenyatta University administrators including from left; project manager Eng Dan Mwangi; Prof Vincent Onywera; supply chain director Victoria Muema and Dr Nelson Karagu, registrar finance and projects leader. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

“This will be second biggest sporting event that Kenya is hosting — after the 1987 All Africa Games. After my of the Athletes Village I can confirm that we are ready to receive the first team of 31 participants from Poland arriving later this evening.

“I have over the past months witnessed the results of a seamless operation and planning of this significant event – it has taken a multi-agency, team effort – and I am happy to report the fruits of efforts are evident, and we will be ready to launch the championships on July 12.”

On his inspection visit at the stadium in Kasarani Gen Joseph Nkaisery (third from right) with, from right, Gen Jackson Tuwei the chairman of the Local Organising Committee; Dr Hassan Wario Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Sport, Culture and the Arts; Mwangi Muthee, Chief Executive Officer of the LOC and second from left Prof Paul Wainaina, acting Vice-Chancellor Kenyatta University. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

On his inspection visit at the stadium in Kasarani Gen Joseph Nkaisery (third from right) with, from right, Gen Jackson Tuwei the chairman of the Local Organising Committee; Dr Hassan Wario Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Sport, Culture and the Arts; Mwangi Muthee, Chief Executive Officer of the LOC and second from left Prof Paul Wainaina, acting Vice-Chancellor Kenyatta University. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

The First Lady is the Patron of the Local Organising Committee and the Championships having been requested by the LOC when Nairobi won the bid to host the event in 2014. She has been involved in the preparation from onset.

“You are a hands-on Patron,” Dr Wario told her on Tuesday adding: “And your impromptu site visits have ensured work continues in all venues. It gave us the impetus to push on.”

The newly laid on blue track at MISC (above) and the starting blocks for sprint races during the championships July 12-16

The newly laid on blue track at MISC (above) and the starting blocks for sprint races during the championships July 12-16

 

First Lady of Kenya (above) at the stadium on Tuesday and (below) with young Team Kenya athletes preparing for the IAAF WU18 Championships

First Lady of Kenya (above) at the stadium on Tuesday and (below) with young Team Kenya athletes just returned with medals from the Africa U20 Championships Algeria

Before the First Lady’s visit, Gen Joseph Nkaisery, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry on Interior and Coordination of National Government had made several inspection visits at KU and Kasarani alongside officials of seven other ministries that are working with the Ministry of Sport and the LOC and supervised the works.

On Monday Gen Nkaisery was accompanied by Wilson Boinet, Kenya’s Inspector General of Police and both said the security and comfort of all teams and spectators in the championships was top priority.

Gen Nkaisery said everyone involved in the hosting work had done an impressive. “This will portray a good image; that Kenya has people with the brains and commitment to organize big things.”

Kenya’s first ever world marathon champion Douglas Wakiihuri (right) who is also Local Organising Committee [LOC] head of protocol for the IAAF WU18 Championships confers with Kenya Airways staff at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Saturday. National carrier Kenya Airways are partners of the LOC. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

Kenya’s first ever world marathon champion Douglas Wakiihuri (right) who is also Local Organising Committee [LOC] head of protocol for the IAAF WU18 Championships confers with Kenya Airways staff at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Saturday. National carrier Kenya Airways are partners of the LOC. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

Staff of Kenya Airways are on an inspection tour of the stadium at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Saturday. They will be in charge of hospitality and medal presentation ceremonies during the IAAF World U18 Championships, July 12-16 in Nairobi. National carrier Kenya Airways are partners of the Local Organising Committee. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

Staff of Kenya Airways are on an inspection tour of the stadium at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Saturday. They will be in charge of hospitality and medal presentation ceremonies during the IAAF World U18 Championships, July 12-16 in Nairobi. National carrier Kenya Airways are partners of the Local Organising Committee. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

The Kenyan team is one of the best prepared, large squads of youngsters mainly in primary and high schools have undergone school holiday training at selected camps round the country in the past one and a half years and culminating with two pre-championships selection trials. They have been preparing for the past several weeks in Nairobi.

The First Lady said of Team Kenya: “We are especially proud of all the young Kenyan athletes, some of who I have met today, who are, even now, hard at work preparing to participate. You have the best mentors and champions — Catherine Ndereba, Pamela Jelimo, Julius Kariuki, Noah Ng’eny, John Ngugi among others — who have set the stage before you and proven to you, and to the world that success is within all our reach.

Security is tight at entrances of and inside the competition venue Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani well ahead of the IAAF WU18 Championships starting on July 18. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

Security is tight at entrances of and inside the competition venue Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani well ahead of the IAAF WU18 Championships starting on July 18. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

National Youth Service (above and below) men and women were busy clearing trash, debris and bushes in the compounds at Kenyatta University and Moi International Sports Centre. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

National Youth Service (above and below) men and women were busy clearing trash, debris and bushes in the compounds at Kenyatta University and Moi International Sports Centre. Photo: MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com/LOC wu18nairobi2017

(Above and below) night view of “The Home of Heroes”, Kasarani Stadium at the Moi International Sports Centre

(Above and below) night view of “The Home of Heroes”, Kasarani Stadium at the Moi International Sports Centre

 

“I want to wish you all the very best in your preparations, and offer my unyielding support and admiration. We are all rooting for you and optimistic that Kenya will emerge as the international champion this year.”

The First Lady also received a sponsorship cheque from one of the LOC’s main local partners, telecom company Safaricom Limited – a Sh104 million donation to connect free wifi and other communication media at Kasarani and KU.

  • Additional reporting by Correspondents and Agencies