The campaign was initiated on Saturday by Mama Sarah Obama in collaboration with sports stakeholders from Nyanza, the Siaya County Government, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), FreeKenya Foundation, Siaya Network of Persons with Disability and Harun Otwoma Foundation (Canada) among others.
Mama Sarah Obama, through her Safeguard Orphans and Widows Organization (SOWO), will sponsor the Nyanza sprints series trials to be held between March 21-October 17 in various constituencies in Siaya County. She made an urged local and international sponsors and strategic partners to join her to make this initiative a success.
This year, Athletics Kenya has officially upgraded Mama Sarah Obama annual 15km road race to a half marathon (21km) in its third edition. Other categories to feature this year include 6km and 8km junior races, 5km para- athletics tri-cycle, 3km corporate run and 1km kids and veteran races.
Siaya County Government First Lady, Rosela Rasanga, who graced the launch, pledged support for the series believing it will elevate athletics standards in Nyanza.
“Siaya County Government will work hand in hand with the SOWO and Nyanza Athletics Kenya branches to identify and nurture talents for this campaign,” said Rasanga.
KTB Product Manager, Fred Okeyo, said they have embraced the local athletics series as it gives opportunity not only to market Kogelo as a sports tourist attraction and heritage but it promotes cultural diversity within Nyanza region.
Short races in the SOWO Nyanza Sprints series will include 100m,200m,400m,800m,4x100m and the 4x400m.The first trials and build up will be at United Millers Wangu Primary School in Gem constituency on March 21,2015.
Ugenya will hold the second leg on April 4 at Inungo Secondary. Bondo region will hold the third leg at Nyabondo Primary on May 16.Nyasanda Secondary in Ugunja will be the destination of the fourth leg on June 6 while the fifth leg will be at Rarieda Secondary on July 18.
The remaining legs will be held in Alego Usonga constituency at Nyadhi Primary (August 15) and Senator Barack Obama Primary (September 19).
Series finalists will converge at Siaya County Stadium where a final team to contest for SOWO Team Nyanza region representation in the 2017 World Youth Championship will be unveiled.
“Those selected will be helped to maintain fitness and seek qualifying times for the 2017 World Youth Championship. The registration commencement date for Nyanza participants will be announced soon.” said SOWO Chairman Mr. Peter Oduor.