The National Olympic Committee (NOC-K) today held its ground breaking ceremony for OlympAfrica Kenya Centre at Muhuri Muchiri grounds in Ruai.
The ceremony was presided by NOC-K president Paul Tergat, NOC-K treasurer Eliud Kariuki, Women Representative Mrs.Rawal and executive members Barnaba Korir and Winnie Kamau.
“For the National Olympic Committee- Kenya (NOC-K), this marks a major milestone and accomplishment in a long-cherished desire to set up a facility for our young people to enjoy sport and undertake educational and social activities, through sport.” Tergat said.
Thanking OlympAfrica Foundation for providing seed funds, he spelled out the impact the Centre will have on the quality of life of the community.
“For us, our responsibility, together with our partners, will simply be to ensure it operates smoothly and professionally while providing quality services to the talented athletes being discovered and nurtured here.” He added.
The Governor, Nairobi City County, H.E. Ann Mwenda Kananu who was present to hand over officially the land to NOC-K spoke on the importance of having the center at the heart of the community in Embakasi. Speaking as a former Judoka and a center in basketball, she expounded on the advantage and power of sports to the youths.
“This state of the art will be able to help the youths; it is my hope that this center will help the youths in the area. I am assured that my partnership with NOC-K will help generations to come. This is a legacy. I want to thank Dr. Paul Tergat for a smooth ride as we change the sports face in the industry, we can’t wait to return and unveil the project once it’s done.’’ She said,
Senior athletes from National teams were also called to experience the sensational day. Malkia strikers Captain Mercy Moim, Rugby Lioness Captain Janet Okello, Tennis Professional player Changawa Ishmael and Lioness Basketball Point Guard Natalie Akinyi.
“This is the best thing an athlete would dream of. NOC-K has come up with an outstanding project. Not only to athletes in Kasarani but also the country. This is a motivation to all athletes, we shall have a facility to come and train, both indoor and outdoor. There’s also an education facility, a motivation to all young athletes and the community around.” Said the Tokyo Olympics Flagbearer Mercy Moim.
Janet Okello, two-time Olympian spoke on the importance of the facility “Sports has changed my life. I’m in awe of how come I have travelled and grown as an individual. I’m happy to hear that the community around will get jobs by building the center and getting employed in the facility. Sports is a way for the youths to evade drugs, crime and immorality.”
The colorful ceremony saw H.E The Governor and NOC-K President begin the ground breaking ceremony with unveiling the OlympAfrica Model to the public and the community in Ruai.
The Centre will feature a multi-purpose indoor gymnasium for multiple sports and education activities, a running track, football field, restaurant, volleyball, basketball, handball, tennis courts and swimming pool. In addition, it will have hostels, a health centre, spectator stands/bleachers and a perimeter wall.
It will be built under the auspices of OlympAfrica, with the main objective being to provide easily accessible sports for disadvantaged youth as well as advance social development through sport. The Centres have been opened and are operational in 37 African countries.
The Kenyan Centre will be used to develop young sports talent, will have sporting, cultural and economic activities as well as involve the community involved in economic and educational programmes to improve their quality of life.
NOC-K has also identified ten schools around the area which will enter into a partnership to ensure talent identification and spreading of Olympic Values to the students.
Find attached pictures and videos of the event.