Telco firm Safaricom has provided a Kes 20 million support for the team that will represent Kenya at the Tokyo Olympics that is set to kick off on July 23.
The funds have been set aside for the ceremonial kit that will be used by the team of sportsmen and women from Kenya.
“As part of our passion for sports, we have always been at the forefront of supporting our athletes every time the Olympics games are held. Whether this is through supporting the Olympic trials, giving incentives to the medal winners or providing support to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya. This year in addition to ensuring they are well kitted we’ll be providing each team member airtime so that they can keep in touch with their family and friends back home,” said Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.
Each member of the travelling team will receive Kes 10,000 worth of Safaricom airtime that they can use while in Tokyo, Japan, an island country in East Asia.
“I thank Safaricom for their continued support and investment in sports and in our athletes. This is in line with our commitment as a Ministry to partner with the private sector to uplift the quality and standards of the sports industry in the country. We have put in place extensive measures to ensure that the athletes are well prepared for the Games in Tokyo. Despite the pandemic, our collaborative public-private partnership approach has provided much needed protective support to the entire sports ecosystem securing athlete welfare”, said Ambassador Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture.
The pandemic has delayed the games by a year, but the organisers have are keeping the official title Tokyo 2020, despite taking place this July and August.
For the first time in the history of the world’s largest sports event, spectators have been barred from most Olympic venue after Tokyo declared a state of emergency, the fourth since Covid-19 hit Japan.
In Japan, Coronavirus cases have been relatively low compared to other countries. The country has so far reported 15,000 deaths. At the moment, about 15 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, compared with 47.4 per cent in the US and over 50 per cent the UK.
The organisers have also been faced by a series of setbacks, including massive budget overruns in the lead up to this year’s edition.
During the last Olympics in Rio, Brazil, Kenya took a record 89 athletes in seven sports, bringing home the best medal haul to date with six gold, six silver and one bronze medal.
This year, Kenya plans to take over 80 athletes to the Olympics who will compete in Athletics, Boxing, Rugby Sevens, Taekwondo, Indoor Volleyball and Beach Volleyball.