In a momentous event that echoed the resounding legacy of a national hero, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba graced the ceremonial unveiling of the Kiprugut Chumo Stadium in Kericho. Formerly known as the Kericho Green Stadium, this hallowed ground has now been renamed in honor of the late and esteemed athlete, Kiprugut Chumo.
During the poignant ceremony, Namwamba emphasized the profound significance of the stadium’s renaming. It serves as a heartfelt tribute to Chumo’s indelible contributions to the world of athletics and stands as a testament to the pivotal role that sports, particularly athletics, plays in showcasing and representing Kenya on the global stage.
Namwamba also articulated the government’s unwavering commitment to uplifting the stature of sporting legends and enhancing their well-being through pioneering initiatives. These initiatives include groundbreaking programs like the affordable housing and pension scheme tailored specifically for athletes, underscoring the nation’s dedication to supporting its sporting heroes even beyond their competitive years.
The ceremony witnessed the presence of esteemed dignitaries, including Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei, Chumo’s family, Sports Kenya chair Peter Njuguna, and Sports Principal Secretary Peter Tum. Their collective presence underscored the unified acknowledgment and respect for Kiprugut Chumo’s enduring legacy.
However, despite the significance of the occasion, it’s important to note that the stadium’s development is still ongoing. Several key elements, such as the gates, marathon track, and the installation of the artificial track, remain works in progress. Additionally, the leveling of the football pitch is yet to reach completion, signifying that this tribute to Chumo’s legacy is a journey in motion, a dedication still unfolding.
The decision to rename the Kericho Green Stadium after Kiprugut Chumo was made by President William Ruto during the Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20. Chumo, who passed away at the age of 84 the previous year, holds a revered place in Kenya’s sporting history. He etched his name as the first Kenyan athlete to clinch a medal during the 1968 Olympic Games, leaving an indelible mark on the nation’s athletic prowess.
As the Kiprugut Chumo Stadium takes shape, it stands not just as a physical monument but as a symbolic testament to the enduring spirit of athleticism and the unwavering dedication of individuals like Chumo, whose contributions continue to inspire generations. It embodies a commitment to fostering sporting excellence while ensuring that the heroes who paved the way are forever honored and remembered.