International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) is happy with the activation and promotion plan ahead of the World Under-18 Championships that will be held on July 12 to 16 in Nairobi.
Carlo de Angeli, IAAF Head of Events Operations, who led the IAAF delegation that has been on tour of Nairobi since Monday, expressed hope that efforts by the Local Organising Committee to involve county governments, corporate organisations and the public especially schools in activation would translate to good attendance.
“There is a lively promotional plan for the championships to activate fans to fill the stadium. During our visit, we have experienced excitement around the event at all levels which we find extremely encouraging,” said De Angeli. “The involvement of schools will be vital since this is an event for young people and they should feel appreciated.”
De Angeli noted that the magnitude of organising the five-day competition, which will be the second largest athletics competition of the year only surpassed by the World Championships in London, should not be underestimated.
De Angeli explained that the decision to move the competition from the 30,000-seater Nyayo National Stadium to the spacious 60,000-capacity Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, last year was wise.
“It paved way for better facilities and proximity to the athletes’ accommodation at Kenyatta University where the athletes’ village will be stationed,” said De Angeli.
He added that the concept of creating a “village” will bring added safety, camaraderie, convenience and comfort.
De Angeli urged all those involved to redouble their efforts so as to drive the championships across the finish line in July. About 2,000 athletes and officials drawn from 156 countries are expected in Nairobi for the youth competition.
Kasarani and Kenyatta University has been a beehive of activity with IAAF delegates stopping over for a visit on their way from Kampala where the World Cross Championships took place on Sunday.
They included representatives of ASICS who are Official Partner of the IAAF World Athletics Series, IAAF’s Marketing Partner Dentsu and their service company Athletics Management & Services.
LOC Chief Executive Officer Mwangi Muthee said that with the benefit of advice from past and recent IAAF delegation visits, his committee had worked on all aspects of Nairobi’s preparedness to host the Championships and things were running well.
Muthee said his committee’s visit to Kampala for World Cross Country Championships was resourceful.
“Kampala put up a wonderful event and going by what the IAAF President Seb Coe said, it had vindicated IAAF’s commitment to bring top flight competition to non-traditional centres like Africa,” said Muthee.
Coe applauded the success of the World Cross Country Championships at Kololo grounds. “It is also a big moment for Africa because bringing our championships here has been one of my commitments since I took charge and my council members know how important it is to grow the sport wherever possible,” said Coe.