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National Para-athletics Qualifying Games Held in Kericho

The Kenya National Paralympic Committee Thursday kicked off the national trials for the para-athletics to the East Africa Community Games at the newly-renamed Kiprugut Chumo Stadium in Kericho County.

The series of trials that brought together over 300 participants are meant to select teams representing Kenya in various international competitions beginning with the East Africa Community Games which will be held in Kigali Rwanda later this month.

Addressing a media briefing during the official opening of the games, the Kenya National Paralympics Committee (KNPC) President Mr. Ronald Milare said that another series of national trials will be held in January next year to select teams that will proceed to the Dubai World Championships Grand Prix in February 2024 as well as Tunis Grand Prix in March 2024.

The trials kicked off in earnest with athletes drawn from 10 Counties of Nairobi, Kericho, Bomet, Uasin Gishu, Narok, West Pokot, Nandi, Machakos, Kakamega and Makueni participating in the trials that end on Friday.

According to Mr. Milare, the two-day event will also act as classification trials to ensure that new athletes are well classified in the games, they are to compete in.

Mr. Milare also mentioned that the games will be an opportunity for the federation to identify new talents, noting that most of the participants who are Persons with Disabilities are new entrants in the competitions.

“The games are both track and field; in track, there will be participants from 100 meters up to 5,000 meters in all classes; in the field events, athletes will compete in discus, javelin, shot-put, and long jump,” he added.

The President of the Federation was however concerned that the para-athletes would face challenges because the stadium was still under construction and lacked some crucial facilities such as the tartan track, but assured that they would ensure the participants were safe and would make good use of the available facilities.

Meanwhile, the Kericho County Secretary Dr. Wesly Bor who was also present, wished all the para-athletes the best in the trials expressing optimism that they will fly Kenya’s flag high in the upcoming international competitions.

Also present during the opening ceremony were the County Chief Officer in charge of ICT, E-Government, Gender, Youth Affairs, and Sports, Mr. Geoffrey Bett, Chief of Staff, Mr. Edgar Towett and Director for Sports, Mr. Charles Ngerechi, and other top officials from the government and the Athletics Kenya.

By Kibe Mburu and James Kipees

 

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