April 25th 2017

Sports / In-Depth

Lack of small stadiums comes to fore with IAAF Under 18 Championships

International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) head of events operations Carlo De Angeli was in Kenya last week to review the country’s preparations for hosting the under-18 athletics championships in June 2017

By Lemmy Bramwellbramwel@kenyafreepress.comSunday, 19 Jun 2016 12:04 EAT

International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) head of events operations Carlo De Angeli was in Kenya last week to review the country’s preparations for hosting the under-18 athletics championships in June 2017.

While De Angeli was pleased with the progress being made by the Local Organizing Committee, he was keen to know how Kenya expected to host all the events in a single stadium, the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

This is the first time the event will be held in a single venue, because Nairobi lacks medium-sized stadiums. The event doesn't usually attract large crowds and ideally held in easy-to-fill stadiums.

“I have the memories of 2007 World Cross Country Championships held in Mombasa and I know what this country can deliver in terms of enthusiasm for athletics. We know there have been challenges with the federation and formation of the Local Organizing Committee[ LOC] but I am happy to find out the good progress that is there…I am happy I’ve seen the progress and shall go back and report to my colleagues what I’ve seen,” said De Angeli.

Carlo De Angeli had initially wanted the event in a smaller venue as opposed to the 60,000 seater Safaricom Stadium Kasarani stadium where it is set to take place adding that large stadia may never be full. However, he expressed confidence in the LOC to lure people to the event.

“We like the youth and junior events being staged in smaller venues since they attract smaller crowds but I don’t want to compare or judge since the organizers have promised to lure more people to the events…….we have to be realistic that not all our events have been full to capacity,” said Angeli as quoted by the Daily Nation.

Speaking during the press conference, Mwangi Muthee, the CEO of the LOC said that the organizers are dedicated to seeing that the event is a success. “We are known as world  beaters in athletics. Come 2017 we would like Kenya to be seen as one of the best organizers in the world. We are happy with the support and assurances from the government. By the end of the week we will be tendering for civil work and equipment needed for the championship,” said Muthee.

The writer is a student at University of Kabianga currently on internship at the Kenya Free Press.





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