Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Sports Infrastructure- Step forward

Since the setting up of the Sports Stadia Management Board SSMB (founded in Nov ’02 and incorporated in May ’03), the management of sports infrastructure in Kenya has taken a turn for the better. From the now well maintained grounds at Kasarani Thika Road to Nyayo National Stadium (City Stadium is receiving a fresh layer of turf from FIFA’s Goal Project with in partnership with KFF/KPL) changes are visible, but I may ask is this enough?
On Saturday, the president intimated that the Government’s providing 100m KShs towards the rehabilitation and redevelopment of the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret as a boon to the outstanding performance by our Kenyan athletes during the Beijing Games- Olympics and Paralympics alike.
The Government’s been busy with these grounds since that’s SSMB’s main thrust. But I’ll ask if this is enough?
Good to start but not enough yet!
Well it’s commendable that they have decided to introduce better income-generating schemes by selling the stadium rights to a willing corporate or brand for the prescribed time at the Nyayo National Stadium- the main stadium, the indoor arena (for basketball/boxing), and the aquatic centre. But what remains of other stadia across the country such as the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru,Kinoru Stadium in Meru or even Ruringu in Nyeri which were football-havens in their heydays?
The stadia must also start conforming to international standards not just in design but also in related infrastructure such as efficient transportation, accessibility, security both on match days and during practice, efficient water and sewerage systems, basically what would look like a small town’s infrastructure.
If our stadiums are to host teams –international –in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup, then this can be addressed. We can also start looking forward to hosting bigger and better regional games which will make this the host of choice in this part of the world.

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