Kericho, Kenya – In a significant tribute to the pioneering track and field hero, Kericho Governor Prof. Paul Chepkwony has announced the renaming of the Kericho Green Stadium. It will now be known as the Wilson Kiprugut Chumo Green Stadium, celebrating the athlete who won Kenya’s inaugural Olympic medal back in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
This major declaration came on Wednesday and is seen as a move to celebrate and immortalize the feats of Kenya’s sporting legends, while also encouraging the next generation to take up sports passionately and professionally.
Governor Chepkwony did not stop there. To further emphasize the county’s commitment to sports and a healthier youth, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics 800m silver medalist, Ferguson Rotich, has been designated as the Goodwill Ambassador. His primary role will be to champion the fight against drug and substance abuse, a growing concern in Kericho County.
Rotich’s recent success at the Tokyo Olympics, where he secured a silver medal with a time of 1:45.23, trailing behind his compatriot Emmanuel Korir who clinched the gold in 1:45.06, positions him as a fitting role model for the youth. This 1-2 victory for Kenya demonstrates the country’s continued excellence in middle-distance races.
During the announcement at the County Headquarters, Governor Chepkwony accentuated the potential sports has in transforming the lives of young individuals. He implored the youth of Kericho to perceive sports not just as a recreational activity, but as a viable career option and income opportunity.
Emphasizing the administration’s dedication to fostering a vibrant sporting environment, he remarked, “We are steadfastly improving our sports infrastructure. The Kericho Green Stadium, soon to be renamed Kiprugut Chumo Stadium, is just one testament to that commitment. Moreover, within our Education and Sports department, we’ve established a sports fund, aimed squarely at assisting our spirited youth, passionate about both athletics and ball games.”
Wilson Kiprugut Chumo
Ferguson Rotich, on his end, provided valuable advice to budding athletes of Kericho after his return from the Tokyo Olympics. “Passion and discipline are key. If you embark on sports with a genuine desire to outshine at national or even global platforms, and you remain dedicated, you will undoubtedly succeed. It’s disheartening to see so many talented individuals not realizing their potential or not taking that first step towards achieving their dreams,” shared the 2013 IAAF World Relays gold medalist.
Rotich’s new role as the Goodwill Ambassador extends beyond mere encouragement. He is tasked with being a proactive voice against the alarming increase in substance abuse among the youth, guiding them towards healthier choices and brighter futures.
Besides this, Rotich, drawing from his own experiences as an athlete, has made a plea to the Kericho county government. Recognizing the importance of world-class facilities in nurturing world-class athletes, he has urged the authorities to invest in developing and refining the existing training amenities. According to Rotich, this will provide the athletes of Kericho with the conducive environment they need to hone their skills and bring more laurels to the county and the country.
As Kericho gears up for a new era in sports, the county is hopeful that these new initiatives and recognitions will usher in a golden age for its athletes, both on and off the track.