Nairobi County is attempting to gain private sector support for sports
The Nairobi City County Government has initiated a proactive initiative to regain and enhance sports facilities, urging businesses to join forces and contribute towards fostering athletic potential.
During an innovative breakfast meeting with stakeholders on Wednesday, county authorities made a commitment to enhance the recognition and financial allocation for sports in the city. Oscar Igaida, the Chief Officer for Youth, Talent, and Sports, announced several initiatives, including the reclamation of a field in the Mwiki area.
This reclaimed space will be utilized to establish facilities for volleyball, netball, football, basketball, as well as indoor sports.
Governor Johnson Sakaja is scheduled to officially commence the Mwiki project next week, even though construction work has already begun.
Additionally, the city plans to open playgrounds in Umoja One, along with other small community fields. They are actively seeking corporate partners to assist in improving these grounds to meet the required standards for playability.
According to Igaida, a former aspiring footballer from the Jericho area, the proposed housing project has been replaced by the Jericho playground. Currently, the project is in the procurement stage. Igaida emphasized the significance of recreational grounds, stating that while housing is important, spaces for leisure activities are equally crucial.
The county intends to enclose the Jericho ground, which is located next to a basketball court developed by the spirits brand Hennessy. The fenced area will include a football ground and a tennis court.
Furthermore, the procurement process for the Woodley Stadium is complete, and the Governor will attend the ground-breaking ceremony next Wednesday.
The county is also seeking partners to develop the Kahawa West Sports Complex. Alongside infrastructure development, the Nairobi City County plans to launch tournaments such as the multi-sport Governor's Talent Extravaganza and the Sakaja's Super Cup knockout football tournament. The latter event is sponsored by Governor Sakaja and his associates.
Igaida stated during the stakeholders' breakfast, which was attended by Deputy Governor Njoroge Muchiri in place of Governor Sakaja who had prior commitments, that their ultimate objective is to establish talent development centers in every sub-county.
Igaida further emphasized that the new administration is taking sports seriously, as the Department of Sports was previously not given much importance. They plan to introduce sports programs that will reflect their commitment to the field.
Brian Mulama, the Sports Executive of Nairobi City County, assured potential partners that the county is accountable and transparent in managing its affairs. He highlighted the recent efforts made by the administration to promote the city's development.
The breakfast event was organized in collaboration with the Nairobi Liquor Board, whose chairman, Myke Rabar, announced plans to open 17 alcohol and drugs rehabilitation centers within the city over the next three years. Rabar expressed the board's commitment to providing safe spaces for youth and investing in various programs, including sports, arts, dance, and ICT. The aim is to create opportunities for stakeholders through community projects in multiple domains.