For the first time in history, Athletics Kenya will be hosting national cross country championships cum national trials in Eldoret ahead of this year’s world cross country championships.
As organisers plans to host the championships in the afternoon just like the IAAF meetings that take place in the evening.
This year, the national trials will be staged in Eldoret at Eldoret Sports Club on 23rd February and Local Organsing Committee headed by Athletics Kenya Central Rift Chairman Abraham Mutai are proposing to host the championships in the evening, breaking away from the morning jinx.
Mutai said devolution has brought great things in the counties and hosting such championships is bringing athletics to their roots.
Athletics Kenya will be using the championships to select a formidable team ahead of world cross country championships in Aarhus, Denmark.
Mutai cited sponsors, fans and entertainment as part of the reasons why they want an evening event compared to the past where they had morning championships.
“We want to propose to host this national event in the evening. We want to break the jinx of hosting the championships in the morning because the IAAF Cross country meetings are held in the evening,” said Mutai citing the power of Athletics Kenya to devolve the sport and they want fans to enjoy watching their sons and daughters compete on the home soil since Eldoret is the epicenter of all athletics in the country.
He said the evening meeting will attract fans compared to morning event that may attract fewer fans coming to watch athletes who will make it to the world event.
“In morning hours, many people will still be working in their farms, attending to various home chores but if we do it in the evening, probably from 3pm to 5pm it will be good for them,” added Mutai.
Concerning sponsors, Mutai said majority of them have been losing out in showcasing their brands because of the few and short hours allocated to them.
“Sponsors play a critical role in ensuring a successful event. We are proposing that we have the event in the evening to ensure that sponsors get quality time to sell their brands. If they are given the whole morning, afternoon and partially evening, they will have a reason to come back for more partnership,’ he insisted.
He added that there shall be total entertainment before the event. “We are welcoming local musicians to entertain our fans and all that shall be done in the morning before the championships begin.