A groundbreaking ceremony has been held to mark the start of the implementation of the project for the construction of Olympafrica Youth Centre in Ruai, a suburb in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
This comes a year after the Anne Kananu-led administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Olympic Committee of Kenya NOCK. Under the MoU, the county government would give land for the OlympAfirca center’s development, while NOCK agreed to raise funding for the project.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Kananu said that it was an honor that NOCK chose Nairobi to join 37 other cities throughout Africa in building a sports facility. The facility will have, among other things, a 400m running track, an indoor gymnasium, volleyball, basketball handball, tennis courts, swimming pools, and dormitories. It will also have a health center, spectator stands/bleachers, and a surrounding wall.
Significance of the project
When finished, the Olympafrica Youth Centre in Ruai will serve communities from Ruai, Mihang’o, Mwiki, Utawala, Kasarani, and much further afield. According to Kananu, the Sports Complex would help to develop bright young athletes and nurture future sportsmen and women who will be able to represent Kenya in numerous athletic disciplines.
City Hall also predicts that the center will significantly increase the identification and development of potential talents among young people, as well as create jobs in the region. The academy will provide conveniently accessible sports facilities for impoverished youngsters while also ensuring enhanced youth social development through sport. It is also anticipated to keep the area’s and its surrounding young away from crime, laziness, and drug misuse.
NOC-K to construct world-class multi-purpose OlympAfrica Centre in Nairobi, Kenya
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) is set to construct a world-class multi-purpose OlympAfrica Centre in Nairobi, Kenya; the first of its kind in the country. This is after the County Government of Nairobi gave the organization a piece of land in Ruai, Kasarani Constituency to carry out the project.
The OlympAfrica Centre will have a multi-purpose indoor gymnasium for sports and education activities, a running track, football field, restaurant, volleyball, basketball, handball, tennis courts, and swimming pool. It will also have hostels, a health center, spectator stands/bleachers, and a perimeter wall. OlympAfrica has committed funds of up to US $350,000 as seed money to finance the project.
Multi-purpose OlympAfrica Centre
According to NOC-K Ag Secretary-General Francis Mutuku, the operational aspects will be done according to the environment. The multi-purpose center will allow youth to try different sports. It will also be developed in a sustainable model, derived from the best use of the resources and continuous funding to sustain the program.
“One of the critical partnerships NOC-K will develop is with schools, to have the students use the facility for talent identification and spreading of Olympic Values. There are ten schools within a short distance of the allocated land, which made it preferred as the most ideal for the development of the center,” said the Ag Sec Gen in the company of first vice-president Shadrack Maluki.
The Centre will be built under the auspices of OlympAfrica, with the main objective being to provide easily accessible sports for disadvantaged youth as well as advance social development through sport. The Centres have been opened and are operational in 37 African countries.
The Centre in Kenya will work as a partnership, OlympAfrica will provide seed funding, Olympics Kenya and sponsors will fund the daily operation costs, the County Government will provide land – serviced with water, electricity, and connection to urban networks, and the local community will be in charge of its management and support the implementation.
NOC-K through its Youth Commission has been developing the concept of having the Centre in Kenya and has had ongoing engagements with the County Government to avail land.