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Kenya pledges to expand sport facilities

03 August 2013, 10:17 Kimathi Kamau

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday pledged to expand sports facilities across the nation which is known as the land for athletics.

Speaking in Nairobi when he hosted the Kenya Rugby Sevens team and Kenya's team to the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, Russia, Uhuru said expansion of sports facilities was so critical to increase the country's capacity to accommodate more disciplines.

"Sport brands us as a people in a way we love to be seen. Therefore, our sportsmen and women are our blessing as a people," Uhuru said.

He said the government intends to diversify sporting disciplines that the country can excel at to avoid over-reliance on traditional disciplines.

He said the national government will fully support County governments to develop sporting facilities within their jurisdiction to accelerate the growth of sports at grass-root level.

He supported Athletics Kenya's proposal to bid for the hosting of a world sports event in the country in two or three years time.

Uhuru acknowledged the support extended by various corporate institutions to sports programs in the country and invited other public and private enterprises to support the initiatives.

The Rugby Sevens team was the fourth best team worldwide at the Moscow International Rugby Board World Cup, while the U15 team gave an equally outstanding performance in Madagascar with both sides emerged the best in the continent.

The President congratulated both teams and urged them to work hard as they prepare for the next encounters so as to sustain the collective journey to the very pinnacle of excellence in rugby.

He told the national athletics team heading to Moscow for the IAAF World Athletics Championship that their sterling performance at Daegu, South Korea raised national expectations.

He regretted the absence of some of the country's defending champions, including world record holder David Rudisha who are out of the competition due to injury and wished them quick recovery.

Deputy President William Ruto congratulated the Rugby teams for the sterling performance and supported proposals to professionalize and commercialize sports to raise the country's standards and profile as a sporting nation.

- Xinhua

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