By Charles Ogallo
The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for 2017 International Association of Athletic Federation World Under-18 Championships is upbeat that success of the biennial event for youth athletes slated for 12-16 July, 2017 in Nairobi will be a major boost for both Kenya and Africa.
The 10th and final edition of the global track and field championships set to be held at Moi International Sports Stadium –Kasarani will see more than 2,000 athletes and officials from 165 countries converge in Nairobi, according to the LOC.
LOC’s Director of Media and Broadcasting Mr Chris Mutungi confirmed over the weekend that preparations were underway to upgrade various sports facilities targeted for the global event.
Addressing media workshop in Mombasa on Saturday, where more than 30 sports journalists from across Coast region attended, Mr Mutungi said the local organizing committee will be setting up training camps for athletes in various parts of the country including Taita to prepare athletes a head of the event.
“This being an international event requires us as a host country to ensure athletes both local and international of adequate security. This will be a great success for our country and therefore the government and the local organizing committee are fully in it to ensure everything is done well all through” Said Mr Mutungi.
He further challenged the media particularly local sports journalists to report fairly and accurately by promoting the event regularly to ensure the message reaches many Kenyans across the country.
“As sports journalists we expect you to start talking and writing stories about the event because we expect all Kenyans to know about this important event from now until July” Mr Mutungi told Journalists at the Mombasa workshop.
More than 100 journalists including 70 local ones will be issued with Media accreditations to cover the event, according to the organizers.
Mutungi added that Kenyatta University has sealed a deal with the local organizing committee that will see the institution hosting Athletes Village for the global event.
According to the LOC, all the event facilities will be ready by May, 2017, a month and a half to the event.
On June 13th and 14th, the country will be conducting the national trial for the event in Nairobi to pick the country’s team for the all-inclusive competitions.
The Event will also be held few weeks to the Kenya's General Elections set for 8th August, 2017.
The success of the 2017 IAAF WU-18 Championships which is the first to be held in Kenya and Africa in General will see Kenya getting it easier to host other international sports events in future.
The one-day Mombasa Media Workshop was attended by among them veteran Sports Journalists / Photojournalists including Mohamed Amin , Omullo Okoth, Elias Makori ,Philip Onyango and (Daily Nation), Ernest Ndunda and Mr. Maundu (Standard Group) and Josephat Kioko of VOA.
Others were Ferdinand Omondi (BBC), Moryne Mudi (The Star Newspaper), Charles Ogallo (The Coast Newspaper) and Jimmy Ole Kamunde ( IRIN).