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Half-marathon to honour scouts’ movement founder

Plans are underway for Nyeri County to host the first ever half marathon race in honour of the founder of the Scouts movement, Lord Baden Powell.

Officials from the Ministry of Devolution, Nyeri County government and World Scout Parliamentary Union (WSPU), the events chief organizers, spent the better part of Monday and Tuesday in consultative meetings to iron out the finer details of the event which is slated for February 20, 2022.

Deputy Director Devolution, Peter Musakhi (far right), WSPU Executive Director Poppins Misoi (in red half jacket) during the consultative meeting with Nyeri county government heads of department. Photo by Wangari Mwangi

According to WSPU’s Executive Director, Poppins Misoi, the 21-kilometre road run will be a precursor of WSPU parliamentary assembly which will be held in February next year, two days before the annual Founders Day celebrations.

Every year on February 22, scouts from all over the world congregate in Nyeri to celebrate the birthday of Lord Baden Powell, the movement’s founder.

It is also on this day that scouts renew their scout promises and reflect on how scouting values resonate with the current times.

The WSPU assembly is an annual event that draws participants from all over the world.

Membership to the Union include members of parliament who formerly served as scouts and girl guides.

Poppins says that the marathon will be split into five categories to ensure that anyone who is interested is not left out.

As a way of ensuring inclusivity for special groups, the inaugural race will also feature a wheelchair race.

“We will have 5-, 10- and 25-kilometer run. It also includes a five-kilometre family fun for those who would like to participate as a family unit,” said Misoi.

The 21- kilometre run will be flagged off at the iconic Ruring’u Stadium and it will pass through Nyeri town to Kamakwa before participants head back to Ruring’u, where they will congregate at the starting point for the award ceremony.

Misoi said that they will be announcing the different application platforms, where interested participants can apply and collect their merchandise.

“We are still working on the different platforms where applications will be done. We are considering an online platform since we have already sent out invitations to our members in Kenya, Africa and those overseas,” said Misoi.

Already, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga has been named as the event’s patron, while former Kenyan long-distance runner and 1987 marathon gold winner, Douglas Wakiihuri will be the marathon’s ambassador.

The organizers said that proceeds from the marathon will go towards supporting vulnerable scouts and supporting scouting activities in the 47 counties in Kenya.

By Wangari Mwangi  

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