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Government to set up sports academies across counties

Sports and Arts Principal Secretary (PS) Jonathan Mueke has revealed plans by the ministry to set up sports academies in all major stadiums across the country.

Speaking at Wang’uru Stadium in Mwea, Kirinyaga during an inspection tour of stadiums in the Central Region Belt which are under construction, Mueke said the facility was 99 percent complete and they were only working on the final touches, before officially handing it over to the local people through the county government.

The 15,000-capacity stadium hosted the 2021 Mashujaa Day celebrations, before it was closed for further improvements.

The PS added that the government was keen to deliver a quality and high standard facility to the people of Kirinyaga by the end of this year.

Accompanied by Sports Kenya staff who run sporting facilities in the country, Mueke said Talanta Hela program by Kenya Kwanza government, which seeks to develop and monetize talents across the country will rely on stadiums as hardware.

The PS had earlier on visited Kirigiti Stadium, Kiambu where Phase I is complete and constructors are at the final stages of Phase II. The stadium has football, volleyball, netball, and basketball pitches.

He further noted after consultations, the contractor at Karatu stadium in Gatundu South has agreed to return to the site to continue with the works.

Mueke said with establishment of sports academies across the country, the ministry will be sending scouts to search for talents.

“Once we build sports academies inside our stadiums, we will be sending scouts from Kasarani to search for talents countrywide. Monetizing talents is part job creation and source of livelihood,” said the PS.

Kirinyaga County Deputy Governor David Githanda who was present said the community is eager to have an international standard stadium.

Githanda said the county had already registered 200 football teams from the ward level to participate in the Governor’s Cup this year and the stadium will play an integral part in the tournament.

The deputy governor also said that the county will partner with the ministry in construction of modern stalls in the stadium, which can be used for business activities as sporting activities goes on.

“The PS has agreed to work with us on various issues raised by the teams and the neighboring community,” Githanda said.

He reiterated that sporting activities will keep youth busy, hence reducing criminal activities.

Area Member of Parliament Mary Maingi said once the stadium is opened, more people within and outside Kirinyaga will be visiting Mwea region, which will improve business activities especially on rice sales.

By Mutai Kipngetich

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