The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) has presented a tentative budget of Sh450 million to the government for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, chef de mission Barnaba Korir has disclosed.
The Commonwealth Games are usually held in August but were brought forward to April 4 to 15 in Gold Coast, Australia, arguably owing to the favourable weather early in the year in Australia.
Korir yesterday said Kenya will again be represented in 15 disciplines at the “Club” games, but added that the tentative number of the athletes and officials that will make the team will be known on Friday after each federation knows its quota.
An estimated Sh380 million was spend by the “Team Kenya” contingent of 306 athletes and officials to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Kenya collected 25 medals — 10 gold, 10 silver and five bronze. Most of the medals came from athletics with one bronze from boxing and the others in paralympics.
The performance, however, marked a drop from the 2010 Delhi Games in India where Kenya won 12 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals.
Korir said that most of the federations have submitted their preliminary entries and what was remaining was how to organise for the respective selections. “A Local Organising Committee will be put in place to monitor and supervise some of these selections so as to ensure that professionalism is upheld,” said Korir.
He noted that only weightlifting, badminton and paralympics teams were are yet to qualify with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) having imposed qualifying standards similar to those at Olympic Games and World Championships in athletics.
“Before, we didn’t have qualifying criteria in place, but the CGF has acted so as to attract quality and encourage good competitions over the disciplines,” said Korir, adding that Kenya’s quota allocation has been drawn from the 2014 Glasgow games.
“The new team at Nock has already hit the road running, and we hope the government will respond on time since we need to prepare the teams well,” said Korir adding that it’s on Friday that the federations will be able to give out the time frame for their trials.
VERY STRONG TEAM
“The budget also entails the funds that will be used to have federations like badminton, weighting and paralympics qualify their teams besides the team camp and training,” said Korir. He explained that he has already met team managers from across the disciplines and was due to meet Nock’s top officials to discuss further preparations this week.?
Korir is confident that Kenya will be represented by a strong team, given the willingness of elite runners to compete.
“In previous years, many top runners have given preference to the Diamond League over the ‘Club’ games. This time though, the Kenyan team to the Commonwealth Games will have elite athletes with the event coming much earlier.”