Kenya cut down budget for 2017 athletics youth Worlds

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Nairobi, Jan 4 (IANS) Kenya has opted to switch venues of hosting the 2017 Athletics World Youth Championships in order to cut down the budget.

The country had proposed $10 million for the championships, which are targeting about 1,500 athletes from 160 countries and regions, but other conflicting interest and natural catastrophes like famine and diseases have seen the government divert funds elsewhere, forcing the organisers to cut down their budget, reports Xinhua.

Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jack Tuwei said they had to drop using Nyayo Stadium, which is convenient and easily accessible by fans to Moi International Stadium, which is 20 km on the outskirts of Nairobi.

“The change of venue was necessitated because Kasarani doesn’t need any renovation, having been given a facelift recently by Chinese construction firm Shengli to a tune of $10 million,” said Tuwei here on Monday.

“However, it will need a complete overhaul to be able to bring up the standards at Nyayo (Kenya’s second biggest stadium) to international level.”

Both venues have hosted major competitions, but lack of maintenance has seen Nyayo Stadium, which was in the bid presentation, dropped because of its poor status.

AK has also entered into partnership with adjacent Kenyatta University to utilise its hostels to accommodate athletes during the championships.

“This will also help us cut down our expenditure,” Tuwei said.

Kenyatta University has the capacity of hosting large crowds and recently hosted the East University Games which brought together 3,000 athletes from over 40 countries. “We are ready to host 1,500 athletes from 160 countries in Nairobi,” said Tuwei.

According to the university’s vice-chancellor Olive Mugenda, the university currently has a student population of 70,000, with only 10,000 being housed in 21 hostels.

Nairobi made a successful bid to host the biennial age group global showpiece in 2017 after both Oregon and Buenos Aires stepped down.

During the same meeting, IAAF council also awarded neighbouring Kampala the rights to host the 2017 World Cross Country Championships, making it the fourth city in the continent to stage the event, after Marrakech, Johannesburg and Nairobi.

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