National cross country cum national trials is part of promoting local sports tourism ahead of world cross country championships in Aarhus Denmark.
For the first time, the national championships will be staged at Eldoret Sports Club on 23rd February as they choose national team ahead the world showpiece.
According to LOC steering committee chairman Abraham Mutai said Athletics Kenya has devolved athletics in the country back to the owners, which is also part of sports tourism in the country.
“Such events have been viewed as way of Sports tourism in the country. Away from the normal race, the championships will be unique in a sense that it will be happening for the first time outside Nairobi and this is the spirit of devolving athletics,” said Mutai.
“We are using this event to promote sports tourism across the country. This will be sports tourism in the sense that in the morning, we will have different communities presenting their cultural entertainments. As sports administrators, we want to impress diversity. Sports is not owned by anybody. It brings people together. We need to tell people that this is our country and we need to take good care it and that is why we are inviting different cultural groups for entertainment sessions,” said Mutai.
He added that the spirit of devolution is working in sports and they want the event to go round the country, making sure that everybody gets to understand athletics by attending and cheering the athletes.
“This is the first time the event is coming to the City of Champions. We want to encourage County government to embrace the championships. I have to applaud Uasin Gishu county government for supporting the event. The branch bided for the championships and they were given hence becoming the first county host the championships,” said Mutai who is also the Central Rift A.K chairman.
He insisted that apart from Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet Trans Nzoia, West Pokot among others have welcomed the event. Uasin Gishu County bided for the event as another county had bided for next year.
“We will be handing over the flag to 2020 winners after the national championships here. We want counties to be in the forefront and claim ownership. Counties own this events and county governments are aware,” he said.