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Boost for Team Kenya as government secures a pre-Olympic camp

Mutuku said that they had toured several cities in Japan to seek a pre-Olympic camp but it was the free of charge offer from Kurume which prompted them to strike a deal.

In Summary

• Yesterday, the Ministry of Sports and a top delegation of administrators from Kurume signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to have the Kenyan team stay and enjoy the facilities at the camp for 21 days in the run up to the Games.

• Amina, who also okayed the camp said that the deal would foster relations between the two countries and reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting the Kenyan team financially.

Sports CS Amina Mohammed receives a honorary award from Fukuoka Vice Governor Akie Omagari during the Team Kenya pre-Olympics training camp partnership signing to Kurume City.
Sports CS Amina Mohammed receives a honorary award from Fukuoka Vice Governor Akie Omagari during the Team Kenya pre-Olympics training camp partnership signing to Kurume City.
Image: ERICK BARASA

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) have exuded confidence that the pre-Olympics camp set for Kurume City in Japan will help Team Kenya to fully adapt to the weather conditions before the games kick-off.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Sports and a top delegation of administrators from Kurume signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to have the Kenyan team stay and enjoy the facilities at the camp for 21 days in the run up to the Games.

The agreement will see Kurume City camp host Team Kenya free of charge as they seek to acclimatise to the expected humid weather conditions in Japan. Apart from playing the host role and providing sporting facilities, the hosts will also cater for the transport of the Kenyan team from Kurume City to Tokyo.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and her Principal Secretary Joe Okudo led the Kenyan delegations while Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Ryoichi Horie, Kurume City Vice Mayor Toshikata Nakashima led the Japanese team.

Nock secretary general Francis Mutuku revealed that the camp was given a clean bill of health by Ministry of Sports officials, who began the negotiations two years ago and was stamped by federation officials and athletes representative, former rugby star Humprey Kayange.

Mutuku said they had toured several cities in Japan in search of a pre-Olympic camp but it was free of charge offer from Kurume which prompted them to strike a deal.

Nock President Paul Tergat believes that the camp offers the best facilities and the weather conditions is synonymous to that of Tokyo hence will offer the best environment for the team to adapt.

“We are anticipating sending the biggest contingent ever to the Games and for our athletes to win medals, proper preparation is key. By partnering with Kurume City, we will be taking care of the health of our athletes by ensuring they adapt to Japan’s climate before the Games start,” said Tergat.

Amina, who also okayed the camp said that the deal would foster relations between the two countries and reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting the Kenyan team financially.

“I am glad our sportsmen will access modern training facilities before the Games start. They will have an opportunity to adapt to the weather and we hope this partnership will last even after the Games. It will help improve trade ties between the two states. We are committed to work with Nock in preparing the team and my office will offer the support needed to ensure everything rolls on time,” she said.

Meanwhile, Kurume City’s representative, Kazunori Hirotani disclosed plans to seal the entry points as a precaution measure to the coronavirus scare.

“We have refurbished the facilities for the Kenyan team and we are proud to be hosting them. We have blocked the entry points to ensure we remain free from the virus,” assured Hirotani.