Pay day at the ‘House on the Hill’

Weird News

By Mutwiri Mutuota

Kenya’s foremost residence State House Nairobi hosted another payday parade for sporting top performers drawn from various disciplines.

However, as highfliers at regional, continental and international events in recent time walked Sh10.390m richer from lush lawns of the ‘House on the Hill’ on Friday, journalists were turned away from the ceremony presided by President Kibaki.

The media were denied access for the first time since prize reward was launched.

Vivian Cheruiyot (left) the 5000m World Champion and Sylvia Kibet, the silver medallist over the same distance in Berlin in August. They were among athletes feted at State House on Friday. Photo: File

State House officials asked journalists to leave claiming they had not been invited despite the Ministry of Sports requesting media outlets to send news crew for the function a day earlier.

"I am greatly delighted to share in the joy and celebration of your success in various international sports events in the last few months.

"Indeed your exemplary performance at the Commonwealth Junior Games, regional Paralympics Games and the Deaflympics Games is another great chapter in Kenya’s history as a great sporting nation," President Kibaki told the gathered in his speech.

Nevertheless, woes of the Fourth Estate did not dampen the occasion for stars of World Youth Championships in Bresanonne, Italy and August Berlin World Championships who took the lion share of the prize kitty as athletics dominated the honours parade.

Africa junior

For topping the sixth World Youth event (six gold, seven silvers and a bronze) in July, Bresanonne medallists divided Sh3.12m among podium finishers with gold fetching Sh300,000, Sh200,000 for silver and Sh100,000 for bronze. Seven officials who accompanied the team were given Sh10,000 apiece.

Their senior counterparts for the 11th Worlds in Berlin that came third overall with four gold, five silver and two bronze medals split Sh2.65m among medallists and finalists as 13 technical officials shared Sh150,020.

Podium finishers took home the same amount as World Youth as finalists pocketed Sh10,000 each.

The Africa Junior Athletics Championships in Mauritius (July 30 to August 2) squad who were third (four gold, nine silver and five bronze) were awarded Sh150,000 for the top medal, Sh75,000 (silver) and Sh50,000 (bronze) as seven officials received Sh10,000 each for a total package of Sh1.71m.

Members of last month’s 21st Summer Deaflympics in Taipei that finished 15th overall with four gold, two silvers and a bronze were awarded Sh1.35m for medallists and a further Sh60,000 for six finalists.