Thursday, 07 September 2023 08:28


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Thrilling sports action, including a 5km fun race, marked the start of the Devolution Conference 2023 in Eldoret where key stakeholders converged to take stock of the success of devolved governments. The race formed part of pre-conference activities which included, a Tree growing exercise at the Eldoret Arboretum and football matches held at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium.
The 5 km race attracted over 2, 000 participants from all over the Country. The Council of Governors (CoG) was represented by Council Vice Chairperson Ahmed Abdullahi, Governor of Wajir County, Governor George Natembeya of Trans Nzoia County and Governor Jonathan Bii of Uasin Gishu County.
In the men’s Category, Peter Mwaniki emerged the winner after a 15:12.2 run to the finish line ahead of Weldon Langat and Charles Rotich who took third place. Mwaniki is the Nairobi Marathon 10Km Champion and Belgut 10km Champion. Speaking following his victory, Peter Mwaniki noted that the race was tough and had attracted very competitive athletes.
“I wish to thank the CoG for organizing this race. This was a great race and it has provided a platform for us athletes to get some exposure as we grow the young talent in the region,” Mwaniki said.
The 2017 World Cross Country Champion Irene Cheptai, won the Devolution Conference 5km race. She crossed the line after clocking 17:04.6 ahead of Sophia Jepchirchir who clocked 17:05.5 and Winnie Boinett was third, marking 17:16.1. Cheptai, who came in from injury, was using the race as a training ground ahead of the Copenhagen Half Marathon slated for September 17 in Denmark.
“I am so happy to have won despite the competition from the other athletes. I thank the Council of Governors for organizing this race and appreciating the talent that we have in this region,” she said.
The football matches saw the Intergovernmental Technical Relations Committee (IGTRC) go toe-to-toe against the County Government of Nyandarua where IGTRC suffered a 6-0 humiliation. The CoG later faced the Senate with the Senate bagging a 3 – nil win, marking the second time the Senate has won against the Council.
Speaking during the award ceremony, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba said the Pre-Conference games are important as the Country takes a trajectory towards monetizing talent through the ambitious plan dubbed Talanta Hela.
Chapa Bet CEO George Omondi on his part said that the partnership with the CoG underlines their commitment to nurturing local sports, fostering emerging talent and championing grassroots initiatives that embody the spirit of community and collaboration.
Governors and stakeholders also took part in the tree growing activity that saw over 300 trees grown in the Eldoret Arboretum. The activity marked a culmination of a tree-growing exercise that saw over 7.4 million trees grown across the 47 Counties since March 2023 as part of the Presidential program to grow 15 billion trees by 2032. President William Ruto, who officially opened the Devolution Conference, also planted a tree and unveiled the Wall of Fame, a landmark that was an initiative of the Council of Governors to celebrate and immortalize the legacy of our men and women who fly the Kenyan Flag high in the sports and athletics arena.

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