NAIROBI, Kenya- Kenya’s hopes of featuring at the 2017 Africa Junior Athletics Championships in Algieria later this month were dashed when the Government announced it could not afford to cater for their travel and star,
The Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts, Dr. Hassan Wario declared the nation’s priority was with the Nairobi 2017 IAAF World Under 18 (WU18) Championships and the State had nothing left in the coffers for the Under 20 side selected for the continental event.
Wario’s latest blow comes after his docket declined to facilitate the national team to 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games in Nassau, Bahamas citing financial challenges forcing the National Olympics Committee-Kenya to withdraw from the competition.
The Government has set aside a budget of KSh 2 billion for the WU18 that will be held at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani from July 12 to 16 that according to the minister has exhausted resources available to other national teams.
The global track and field meeting will be preceded by the continental showpiece that runs from June 29 to July 2 in Tlemcen, Algeria.
“We can’t be everywhere at the same time so we have to focus our energy here. We have to put our best foot forward on the Under 18 Championships, host a spectacular event, and hopefully win it as the hosts,” Wario stated.
The minister exuded confidence Kenya will host successful championships with the country ready to receive over 135 nations that have confirmed participation.
“Currently final touches are being applied on the warm-up track as other logistical preparations including hostels and hotels for athletes and IAAF official are underway. The mood is positive everywhere,” Wario added.
His announcement leaves the fate of the Under 20 in the hands of Athletics Kenya who have to dip into their coffers to send the team.