Sports

Sorry state of the stadium that produced legendary Kipchoge Keino

David Macharia

One of the country’s premier sporting facilities is in a sorry state. The stadium that gave the country its first set of athletes to represent it in an international event is suffering from neglect, poor administration and lack of proper care and upkeep.

For historical purposes, this is the stadium that gave the country its founding medalists. Until recently, it was in the news for wrong reasons after it was adversly mentioned in the International Criminal Court (ICC) Case at the Hague for having hosted meetings to plan for violence that rocked the country after the 2007 elections. 

One such, the 64-Stadium in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County can be equated to Kapkatet and Suswa grounds in Kericho and Narok respectively in terms of hosting huge rallies where major political pronouncements are made.

But 64-Stadium is special to people of Eldoret town since it is currently the only one that is freely accessible by locals, for doing sports practices and fun jogging since the other – Kip Keino Stadium is far and in most cases closed.

A visit to the stadium that is located in the western side of Eldoret town reveals a neglected facility and county government remained mum when asked if there is any plan to refurbish it.

The perimeter wall of the ‘64’ facility has collapsed in many areas and toilets have their doors and windows vandalised. The stadium is the old name for Eldoret, also used for political and cultural reasons.

Because of the many openings created by the collapsed wall, the stadium is used as a grazing ground for livestock.

A web of footpaths dot the pitch because people from neighbouring residential estate short cut through the stadium on their way to town.

The defunct Eldoret Municipal Council put up the perimeter wall in the 1990s. But the wall lacks pillars since it was expected kiosks would be built on the outside to act as support.

People who were allocated the kiosk spaces round the wall failed to construct them thus exposing the wall to natural forces like wind and human interference.

Youth soccer teams from residential estates like West Indies, LC, Kilimani, Kidiwa and Mwanzo use the stadium as their training ground.

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