A group of athletes from Elgeyo-Marakwet county are up in arms over the delayed construction of the iconic Kamariny Stadium by the national and the county governments.
The athletes are now calling on well-wishers to come to their rescue and help get the stadia into suitable conditions so that they can use them to prepare for major athletics competitions in the near future.
The Elgeyo-Marakwet County Government, in a bid to save face, offered the Kiptingo field near Kamariny as an alternative training ground for athletes, but even then, the new ground is not fit for training.
Subsequently, athletes have decided to come together and raise Sh1.5 million on their own to make the alternate Kiptingo ground suitable for training.
The ground’s grading is complete but the athletes are working on levelling and compacting it after being disappointed by the apathy shown by both the county and national governments.
“Since Kamariny was closed for renovations three years ago, we don’t have an alternative track. We were promised Kiptingo as an alternative training track but it was graded and nothing has happened since, making it hard for us to conduct quality training,” said Kenneth Kibet, a coach.
Athletes from Iten are now forced to travel 11 kilometres to Tambach Teachers Training College or 30 kilometres away to the University of Eldoret which is normally congested.
“We have over 2,000 athletes in Iten and majority of them are juniors who cannot manage to travel outside Iten for speed session. We are forced to use public roads and we share with motorists and motorcycles and there is a lot of dust, subjecting athletes to infections,” explained Kibet.
Last month, Sports and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa and Elgeyo-Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos visited the Kamariny Stadium with Echesa declaring that works were well underway.
Athletes in the neighbouring Uasin Gishu County and Nandi County are also experiencing the same problems after the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret and similarly-named Kipchoge Stadium in Kapsabet were both closed for renovation