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All set for African championship

By | Oct 28th 2009 | 2 min read

By Mutwiri Mutuota

With little time to spare before the opening ceremony of 17th African Athletics Championships in Nairobi that run from July 28 to August 1 next year, organisers have finally engaged preparation in full gear.

The delayed event secretariat at the Nyayo National Stadium is now operational, with a high-powered marketing team from Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) expected in the country on Tuesday (November 3) following last week’s visit by the head of IAAF’s broadcasting, Ernest Obeng.

"The CAA senior marketing officials from Dakar will be arriving here to work with our team led by Sue Omanga on the ways in partnership with the media, we can get the stadium full for the five days and generate revenue," Nairobi 2010 CEO, David Okeyo, told FeverPitch on Tuesday.

The official disclosed orders for equipment required to stage the event would begin next week and all requirements are expected to be met before the April 24 test meeting for the event proper at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Big meeting

"This will be a big meeting where all officials who will be involved in the championships will be present.

"We will field athletes in all track and field disciplines to give the facilities we have a thorough test while affording us two months to rectify what will go wrong, acquiring what we will be missing and making improvements," Okeyo added.

The proposed test run will also be the Fourth New KCC/Athletics Kenya weekend meeting and plans are afoot to send invitation to other African countries to send competitors. Already, various committees tasked with drawing up procurement proposals have concluded their work and their recommendations will be placed before the tendering committee.

"Three companies have tendered for the electronic board and that is the minimum number required to order for it and we plan to have it in the country by March. We have also received proposals for the equipment needed for track and field such as javelins, discus, hammers and pole vaults.

"At Berlin World Championships, we petitioned (world governing body) IAAF president, Lamine Diack to assist us in getting field equipment and I have sent him the list and cost budget of what we need.

"They will not cover all of them and we shall order for the balance once they get back to us," Okeyo explained.

A spot check by FeverPitch and KTN at the secretariat offices revealed that most requirements to run the offices were complete.

Deputy Commissioner for Sports, Stephen Karinga, one of the nine officials seconded by Government to work at the secretariat conducted the tour through the CEOs, Administrative and Logistics, Boardroom, Human Resource and Information Technology in addition to the Media and Marketing offices.

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