The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) is in the final stages of a planned training partnership with Miramas Metropole and Miramas Athletics Club of France.
This is after the agencies made a Sh20 million financial commitment to host a training camp for Team Kenya in the southern city of France prior to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
In April this year, AK sent 11 junior athletes consisting of sprinters and field a month of training in Miramas, again the country will be sending more juniors to France next January and May for specialized training.
The two parties agreed has agreed on the pre-camps that will start as soon as possible with the first batch of Kenyans early next year.
Mid this year NOC-k’s President Paul Tergat led Kenyan delegations to Bouches-du-Rhône to seal a mutual deal that will see the Kenyan athletes have access to the Stadium Miramas Métropole and a range of other facilities.
The French delegation was led by Teddy Althierry, Sports Director city of Miramas, Bastien Gotas, Municipal Council Sport Counselor, Nadia Ali, Municipal Council Sports Councilor, Patrice Ouvrier-Buffet, Technical Director of Athletic Club and Daniel Chirchir, former Kenyan athletes living in France are currently in the country to meet the NOC-K officials.
“This a great partnership that goes beyond sports, it’s a friendly partnership that will go beyond 2024 Olympics and will benefit both country’s trade and tourism. We have put Sh20 million funds for initial deal and it’s going to increase by the time we finalize the partnership next year. Stadium Miramas Métropole is capable of holding athletics, handball, basketball, boxing, fencing, judo and badminton and these facilities will be beneficial to Kenya going to Olympics,” Ouvrier-Buffet said.
NOC-K Secretary General Francis Mutuku said they have visited the facilities twice in France and signed the deal.
“Our partners have made a financial commitment. The partnership will ensure Team Kenya has one of the best pre-camp training facilities before the Olympics, the first athletes to benefit from the program will be athletes under our scholarship programs.”
“Those under our scholarship will start going to France for training early next year to prepare towards their Olympic qualification and acclimatization. The rest of Team Kenya will have pre-Olympic camp in Miramas before proceeding to Paris for the Games just like we did in Kurume, Japan,” he said.
NOC-K has already given out seven scholarships to athletes bother field events and track, 12 athletes from different disciplines and two team sports – volleyball and rugby.