Nairobi — Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba says the government will rename more sporting facilities after legends who brought glory to the country in past international competitions.
The CS said last week’s renaming of the Kericho Green Stadium is the first step towards this exercise, which was approved by the Cabinet following a request by his ministry.
“We have been able at the Cabinet level to approve a request by the Ministry of Sports to start renaming our sporting facilities after our sporting legends. That is why last week we were in Kericho to rename Kericho Green Stadium to Kiprugut Chumo Stadium in honour of Kenya’s in honour of Kenya’s first-ever Olympics medalist,” Namwamba said.
He added that the process will be inclusive to ensure the public’s views and wishes are reflected in the selected names for the different facilities.
“Any measure we take as government is always public driven. The renaming of Kericho Green after Kiprugut Chumo was a matter requested by the community in the county. We’ve had official requests from the county (Kericho) and from the family. It was a decision made on public demand,” the CS explained.
He added: “At one time, we were grappling on whether it would be Wilson Kiprugut Chumo Stadium or Kiprugut Chumo. The county consulted and decided it was going to be the latter. Definitely, public participation is important…it is a constitutional right so it cannot be ignored.”
Namwamba was, however, cagey on which sporting facility will be renamed next, noting that it is something that is still in the works.
“We will cross that bridge when we get to it. I am never in the habit of crossing bridges that I’ve not yet reached,” he said.
Kiprugut was Kenya’s first medalist at the Olympics when he won bronze in the men’s 800m at the 1964 Games in Tokyo.
The 84-year-old, who also specialised in the 400m, passed on in November last year, having resigned to a life of poverty at his Kericho backyard.
From an overall perspective, the CS said the renaming of sports facilities is part of a wider resolve by the government to honour sporting legends who have in the past been ignored by the powers that be.