Athletics Kenya has pushed back the national cross country championships by one week as the country mourns former president Daniel Toroitich Moi who passed away on on Tuesday.
Moi, who served for 24 years before he retired in 2002, died aged 95.
The country’s second president was an ardent sports enthusiast and he was often refereed to as ‘fan number one’ by the local press.
The national cross country championships were scheduled for February 8 at Uhuru Gardens in the capital Nairobi, but the event have since been pushed back to February 15 at a venue to be communicated later.
“This is to allow us join fellow Kenyans in mourning the former president, whose love for sports was immeasurable,” Athletics Kenya said in a statement.
The late Moi’s love for sports cut across all disciplines but AK remembered the former commander-in-chief for allowing the disciplined forces to take part in sports during his reign.
“The former president also supported the disciplined forces to take part in sports and especially athletics. These institutions have supported the lives of many athletes even after their retirement from competitive sport.”
The late Moi will be buried on February 12 in a state function.
Athletics Kenya is dominated by Kenya’s disciplined forces like the Kenya Police, the Kenya Defence Forces, Kenya Prisons and the Administration Police who are all affiliates.
“The support former President Moi gave the athletics fraternity is immeasurable. Moi went out of his way to ensure the athletics team were given the requisite support and were comfortable whenever they represented the country in international assignments,” AK added in a series of tweets.
The two top existing best sports stadiums in Kenya— the Moi International Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani and Nyayo National Stadium — were built during his reign
“The two facilities are a testament to the love he had for sports in the country. As a person who worked all his life for the unity of the people of Kenya, Moi found sports to be the greatest unifying factor hence went out of his way to support it.”
“In his memory, we would like to request the current government to initiate infrastructure projects and complete the ones that are already under refurbishment to ensure our budding athletes and sportsmen have facilities to hone their talent.”