Francis Mutuku, acting secretary general at NOC-K, claims a new sports science centre will be "instrumental" to the development of athletes ©NOC-K

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has confirmed plans to build a sports science centre which it hopes will play an "instrumental" role in the development of Kenyan athletes.

Working with the Kenyatta University and the Kenyan Government, the facility is expected to be built at the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani.

It is also set to comprise of a high-performance training venue for all national teams as well as a youth sports centre.

Francis Mutuku, acting secretary general at NOC-K, believes sports science will be key to improving performances on the global stage.

"This sports science centre will be instrumental in developing talents as well as improving performance of our athletes and teams through advanced technical capacity and research," said Mutuku.

"We would also develop programmes for the current athletes that will include the career transition training aimed at empowering athletes to make the transition from active athlete to retirement.

"This training will focus on business skills and other skills to empower them to transit from active sports."

The sports science centre is also expected to provide athletes with access to strength and conditioning support.

"A lot of our talent isn’t polished and cleaned in good time, but what has become more glaring during this pandemic time is that our elite athletes have had no place to train from or check their fitness levels,” Mutuku told KBC News.

Athletes will hope to benefit from the sports science centre planned to be built in Kasarani ©Getty Images
Athletes will hope to benefit from the sports science centre planned to be built in Kasarani ©Getty Images

"In conjunction with Kenyatta University we are able to highlight the importance of this infrastructure [with the sports science centre].

"We are looking for land and the first place that we have requested the Ministry to give us land is at Kasarani."

Kenya is aiming to send a record 100 athletes to this year’s rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Athletes aiming to qualify for the Games are scheduled to start training in a bio-secure bubble next month before attending a residential camp in April.

Kurume on Kyushu Island in Japan is due to be the base of the Kenyan team for at least 14 days before Tokyo 2020 is scheduled to begin on July 23.

This year also marks the start of NOC-K’s 2021 to 2024 Olympiad as the organisation looks ahead to Paris 2024,

"We expect to roll out various programmes associated with the Olympiad such as athlete support through scholarships, programmes aimed at capacity building for administrators and technical officials as well as enhancing the knowledge and expertise of sports support environments such as physiotherapists and doctors," said Mutuku.

"It is our expectation that we will improve the sporting environment and personnel within the Olympiad cycle."

Mutuku said NOC-K would start preparations for all teams eligible to participate at Paris 2024 including skating and breakdancing which will make their Olympic debuts.

"Our sports development agenda will continue in the year 2021. We will put our focus on youth development in sports," added Mutuku.

"Towards this we have developed various programmes aimed at empowering young athletes."