URGENT SOLUTION NEEDED

Ongori calls for speedy renovation of City Park Stadium

The astroturf and under-pitch were laid in 1987 during the All Africa Games and 23 years down the line, Ongori says, the pitch needs a face-lift.

In Summary

• The facility has become unplayable during the rainy season because of water logging making the movement of the ball almost impossible. 

• All league matches are played in the stadium while the national teams use the same facility for training and international matches.

Western Jaguars' Kelvin Machinji tackles Brian Kiplimo of USIU during their KHU premier league match at City park stadium.
Western Jaguars' Kelvin Machinji tackles Brian Kiplimo of USIU during their KHU premier league match at City park stadium.
Image: /ERICK BARASA

Kenya Hockey Union secretary general Wycliffe Ongori has urged stakeholders to help rehabilitate the dilapidated City Park Stadium.

The facility has become unplayable during the rainy season due to flooding, making the movement of the ball almost impossible.

The astroturf and under-pitch were laid in 1987 during the All Africa Games and 23 years down the line, Ongori says, the pitch needs a face-lift.

Some games were postponed last season owing to bad weather making the fixture congested.

Ongori said poor drainage system is of particular concern and observed that it will only take a collective effort to execute what he said would an expensive undertaking.

"The renovation plans started four years ago. We have written to the Ministry of Sports, we have consulted the Africa Hockey Federation and the Federation of International Hockey (FIH) in trying to get assistance," revealed Ongori.

"The approximated cost is about Sh70 million which is a huge amount but could be affordable when shared. The sooner the facility is worked on, the better for Kenyan hockey."

He observed that the union is waiting for quotes from the State Department of Public Works.

"I cannot give an exact time frame on when the renovations can start but we need authorisation from the relevant bodies. We are waiting for the eventual quotes from SDPW," he said.

All league matches are played in the stadium while national teams use the same facility for training and international matches.

Sikh Union hockey club is the only club in the country that has an Olympic size artificial turf. The pitch, known as the Dashmesh Hockey Studium, was opened last year.

In the meantime, Ongori is hopeful that sports will resume soon and the hockey fraternity will be back stronger.

"We remain positive that sports will return as soon as possible. Of course, I am confident that the playing fraternity, officials and everybody associated with the game return in a better shape," he said.