Home » Government pledges support for World Schools X-Country event

Government pledges support for World Schools X-Country event

The 24th edition of the International Schools Federation (ISF) World Schools Cross Country Championships scheduled for May 10 to 15, next year in Nairobi has been launched.

Cabinet Secretary for Education Ezekiel Machogu declared that Kenya is now conversant with hosting major sporting championships in preparation to host the juniors of the world and give them a lifetime experience.

Machogu pledged both political and technical support to ISF and the Local Organising Committee, while launching the championships officially as he signed a memorandum with ISF President Laurent Petrynka from Belgium.

Machogu said that they will deliver a successful event to rival the hugely successful 2007 Mombasa World Athletics Cross Country Championships, 2017 World Athletics Under-18 Championships and the 2021 World athletics Under-20 Championships.

Machogo noted that the partnership with his Sports counterpart Ababu Namwamba is top notch and that they are not taking it for granted after the country won the bid to host the event.

“Kenya is known worldwide for its prowess in athletics especially cross country and more so the original and cradle of mankind. We welcome the world back home to their origin and home of athletics,” said Machogu.

Machogu said that sports unites the world in the most difficult situation, adding that educating youngsters also through sports is the best foundation that the world can give its youth.     

Machogu was accompanied by World Athletics Vice President Jack Tuwei, Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) chairman Kipchumba Maiyo and the event’s Chief Executive Officer Barnaba Korir.

Machogu promised to mobilise regional countries to send participants to the event as Petrynka and Maiyo predicted a record turnout of over 1,000 participants.

Petrynka said he is humbled by the support and guarantee from the country’s political and technical power.

“We are here to evaluate the preparations for the championships and it’s amazing how CSs Machogu and Namwamba are speaking with one voice,” said Petrynka, adding that youth of the world are ready to witness where the great cross country runners come from.

From their members of 135 countries, Petrynka expects 3,000 participants from over 30 countries for the championships that are being held for the second time in Africa after Marrakech, Morocco in 2000.

“ISF’s core job and mission is to enrich education through sports,” said Petrynka.

Maiyo said the event will feature three categories for both boys and girls; Under-15, Under-16 and Under-18.

“This will be a good forum for the youngsters to exchange and experience cultural diversities as well as get to tour our national parts and cultural centres,” said Maiyo.

“We shall organise for all these so that the championship leaves lasting memories for the young ones.”