Nyahururu crying for facelift: Laikipia County government to spend Sh33 million in restoring Nyahururu Stadium’s lost glory

By Ben Ahenda

An athlete trains at Nyahururu Stadium

Laikipia County Government has set aside Sh33 million to improve all sports infrastructure in the county.

The money was allocated to the Department of Sports in the 2012/2013 financial year.
The Ministry of Sports, Gender, Culture, Youth and Children Affairs has a number of sports infrastructure that needs to be improved in order to be at par with other established sporting counties of Nairobi, Nakuru and Mombasa.

Renovation of Nyahururu Stadium and promotion of sports tourism through cricket have been given top priority.
Although this allocation is a drop in the ocean, the Laikipia County Minister for Sports Ann Cheptoo Chumo said this is the start of better things to come.

 Sports tourism

She said they will first concentrate on renovating Nyahururu Stadium to restore its former glory before embarking on the promotion of sports tourism through cricket to be spearheaded by a group of Maasai Moran cricketers.

Nyahururu Stadium is the venue elite runners like former Beijing Olympics marathon champion, the late Samuel Kamau Wanjiru, former
world Cross-country champion John Ngugi and former 10,000 metres world champion Charles Kamathi honed their skills.

The dilapidated stadium, which sits on 10 acres, has six volleyball pitches, a netball pitch, two football pitches and a basketball court that is full of potholes.

The stadium’s athletics track and fence are in deplorable conditions.

The track is always muddy on wet seasons from clay soil used on the surface instead of faster drying sandy soil.
It has no perimeter fence while the external fence is shoddily built with corrugated rusty iron sheets and rotting wooden posts with emerging gaps that makes the facility easily accessible, which exposes the stadium’s property and facilities to theft and vandalism.

The washrooms are not in good shape either. They emit  strong stench owing to lack of flowing water. On the football pitch different weeds and long grass are growing and could soon be a good habitat for
snakes. The poor drainage system at the facility has led to formation of small pools of water in the football pitch whenever it rains.

Leaking roofs

At the VIP pavilion, peeling walls and leaking roofs are the order of the day and the hall used for indoor games like table tennis pool, badminton,  and squash has rotten wooden floors threatening to sink any time.

Chumo said they have allocated Sh29 million to renovate the stadium this financial year.

The conditions at Nanyuki Stadium are not any better but the county’s Ministry of Sports  says they will  address it later in the next financial year.

 The plan to use cricket to promote tourism  in the county comes in the wake of a
successful trip to South Africa by the Maasai Moran cricketers who play social cricket in the outskirts of Nanyuki town during their free time.

They train at Ole Potei Park, which was  constructed by the British Army in Laikipia East under the tutelage of South African volunteer coach Aliya Bauer.

“We are planning to engage Cricket Kenya so that we can  be enlisted in one of the future leagues,” the county’s Sports Minister told FeverPitch.

“We have a budget of Sh3 million to do this work (sports tourism),” added Chumo.

“But we have not ignored other disciplines like football, boxing and volleyball. However, we must start somewhere,” she said.

To succeed, Chumo said they will conduct a situation
analysis to guide them on the way forward.

The analysis will be integrated into a County Integrated five-year Development Plan to guide them on how to spend thecounty’s financial resources.

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