Maikuu Primary and Secondary School grounds in Kinyambu, Kibwezi East in Makueni County will be the battleground for the second edition of the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) cross country event once again during this year’s Jamhuri day celebrations on 12/12/2017.
The cross country race, which features the usual senior and junior men and women elite events of 10km and 8km respectively, will be held in conjunction with Athletics Kenya Southern region branch.
“It was amazing to see the enthusiasm of the people of Kibwezi East turn out in their numbers in 2016 when this race was introduced.
This for us was an indication of not just the athletics appetite but potential within our lower part of AK Southern region branch.
We are deeply grateful to KPC for accepting to bring back this event once again to continue the foundation that was laid”, remarked Paul Mutwii, the region’s AK supremo and 1st Vice-President of Athletics Kenya.
The area County Commissioner’s office has already given the organizers the go ahead to plan for the race to be staged alongside and as a curtain raiser to the national celebrations that morning since sports play a huge mobilising role but most significantly, in fostering unity and integration in the country.
In order to further ensure a lasting and sustainable impact of this cross country initiative, KPC will support a tree planting exercise before the races are flagged off in conjunction with the Makueni County government.
According to the incoming County Chief Officer for Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Mary Mbenge, this tree planting exercise would be a perfect way to integrate sports and environment given their symbiotic relationship. Equally, the tree planting at the host schools’ grounds was in line with the County’s goal in tackling climate change.”
The County has enacted climate change adaption regulations to guide building resilience capacity amongst the communities of Makueni. For this reason, we would like to mainstream the idea of ceremonial tree planting in all public events to aid meeting the 10% tree cover within the county”, she said.
Acknowledging the importance of the environment and sports, the KPC Managing Director Mr Joe Sang applauded the local community of Thange and the larger Makueni County for their huge support during the inaugural cross country races in 2016.
“It is our corporate tradition to always partner with communities that host us and our facilities through various strategies of mutual benefit. Thange has a special place in our community of partners and we feel proud that we are able to carry out a sports activity that will in the long run see their transformation as young people showcase and develop their running potential to career level and earn from it.,” Sang said from Eldoret where he was leading his members of staff in yet another end of year sporting extravaganza.
“As Africa’s premier Oil & Gas Company, sports is one avenue of empowering
the people to become change agents in their own communities. This is what our corporate social investment agenda is all about,” he added in a statement to the media.
“Our partnership with the county to include a tree planting exercise definitely underscores and complements the deep value that we attach to our environment, particularly climate change using sports as a platform”, observed Mr Sang.
During this year’s event, winners of the various categories, which will also feature children and adult races will receive enhanced cash prizes for the top 10 for each of the elite races and top 6 finishers for the local kids and veterans races. Winners in the senior men’s and women category will pocket
Sh25,000 while first and second runners up will receive Sh15,000 and
The top three in the junior categories will get Sh15,000, 10,000 and
Sh8,000, respectively also with top 10 finishers awarded.
A number of elite athletes from the region and beyond, once again, will be at hand to motivate the young athletes. These include former world marathon record holder, Patrick Makau and track 5000m champion Caleb Mwangangi.