Nock approves Sh12 million for Olympic qualifiers

By Gilbert Wandera: Thursday, February 21st 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
NOCK President Paul Tergat (right) and Ag Secretary General NOCK Francis Mutuku during a press conference at NOCK Nairobi office. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) has approved a budget of Sh12million to support federations that will take part in qualifiers for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Each federation will receive Sh500,000 according to Nock Acting Secretary General Francis Mutuku.

He said the gesture is part of their effort to support federations keen on taking part in the Olympic Games.

“One of the biggest lessons we have learnt is that very many federations struggle with qualifications to the major Games.

“Whereas the government comes in to support, sometimes the help comes when most of our federations have lost the only opportunities available for qualification.

“We want to change this scenario for Tokyo 2020,” said Mutuku in a statement yesterday.

Get the latest sports news updates. Subscribe to our SMS sports service by texting 'SPORTS' to 22840.

He added: “The preparations may not be as effective as we would like since this should have started three years ago but we want to try and make up for lost time.

“We have therefore held a consultative meeting with our federations to look at ways in which we can make the best of the time available in ensuring that many sports disciplines qualify.

“Though currently strained and still clearing previously accumulated debts, we have approved an initial support of Sh500,000 to each participating federation totalling Sh12million.

Mutuku also urged the government to fast-track the release of money from the Sports Fund to help the teams.

The Nock official also said they hope to build on the success they have had since coming into office to ensure that Kenyan teams win more medals next year in Japan.

“The current board successfully entered three major Games since we assumed office.

"They include the Commonwealth Games, African Youth Games and Youth Olympics."

Nock also said they were sorry for what happened at the Rio Olympics Games in 2016.

“Kenya’s performance in the Games was excellent. However what many remember is all the activities around the events and that good performance has been lost in most conversations.

“The negative aspect around those games is a matter which has occupied us for the last three years.

“We come today to apologise to these athletes, to our federations and to Kenyans,” Mutuku said at the Nock offices yesterday.

He said while some of the issues are still pending before court, it was important that they move forward for the sake of the sportsmen and women who are ready to focus on the next competition.

“We recognise that as an organisation so many aspects around those Games could have been done better. There may have been errors of omission and commission to the athletes, federations and sports loving Kenyans.”