Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in collaboration with Buffaloes Baseball Club (Kenya) have set the ball rolling for the construction of three (3) state of the art Baseball and Softball fields at the JKUAT Sports Field.
The project initiated through the Department of Sports was started in 2019, but was derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic, will see the construction of one-of-a-kind sports resource complex, complete with the first international standard baseball diamond ground in the Nairobi region, with a 300 sitting capacity and a storm-water reservoir for drainage and irrigation.
Speaking at the meeting held moments prior to the official ground breaking ceremony on Friday 17, September 2021, for the commencement of works, JKUAT Management and the Buffaloes Baseball Club delegation discussed the logistics of successfully actualizing the project, before they proceeded to the official site for the groundbreaking ceremony.
During the ceremony, JKUAT Chairman of Council Amb. Mahboub Maalim commended the project partners saying the project is important in terms of ensuring the University has international state-of-the-art facilities in a move that will enhance the students’ talents to high standards and enable them to compete internationally.
“The Council will support you fully in this quest to give back to the community and the nation at large. This project will be important in improving our sports infrastructure and ensure the community benefits,” Amb. Maalim observed.
In her remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Ngumi thanked the JKUAT sports department for their tireless effort in ensuring the students get the best in terms of sporting facilities that will ensure they are busy and active.
“Sports play an important role in ensuring the development of an all around student and as JKUAT fraternity, we aim for the best for our students in terms of availing top notch sporting infrastructure for them to keep fit and sharpen their talents,” Prof. Ngumi asserted.
The Vice Chancellor noted that the Sports Department has been collaborating in the last few years with Buffaloes Baseball Club, which eventually saw the birth of the project. The Sports Complex, Prof. Ngumi stated that it will be a critical step in fast-tracking the development of Baseball and Softball in the country.
Prof. Ngumi further observed that once the facility is completed, it will enhance the sporting capacity of the University and put the institution on the map in terms of hosting the first Baseball field to international standards. The pitch, she added, will supplement the only recognized field in Kenya domiciled at the Meru University of Science and Technology.
With Baseball and Softball in secondary school and University level being competitive in the last decade, Prof. Ngumi, noted that the project was timely and will catapult the University’s status in terms of skills development and attracting international coaches and players.
The Buffaloes Club Team leader, Mr. Thomas Wallace, said the University has the requisite intellectual capacity to effectively carry out the project, noting, the facility will also spur innovation among students and challenge them to think out of the box.
“I implore you to look inwards as JKUAT has abundance of skilled workforce to make this project a reality. We are here to support to you,” Mr. Wallace stated.
He said the project would also be important in improving Kenya’s sporting sector and spur interest in youth to indulge in Baseball and Softball.
The JKUAT field will be home to the first baseball field in the Nairobi region, and the first baseball and softball combined site, serving as a national, regional and international landmark for baseball and softball.
The project will proceed in 3 phases, with Phase 1 involving grading and marking the fields; Phase two, technical construction of the fields and Phase three will involve construction of the support facilities.
Others involved in the project are JKUAT Grants Office, Department of Architecture and the Department of Landscape Architecture.
Present during the event included Deputy Vice Chancellors: Prof. Robert Kinyua (Academic Affairs), Prof. Bernard Ikua (Administration and Finance), Prof Mary Abukutsa (Research, Production and Extension), Dr. Hiram Ndiritu, Acting Principal, College of Engineering and Technology, Prof. Thuku Thiongo, Acting Principal, College of Pure and Applied Sciences, Prof. Elegwa Mukulu, Principal, College of Human Resource Development, Arch. Nadi Hashim, Chairman, Department of Architecture, Kiambu County CEC in charge of Sports, Mr Samuel Kariuki and President Baseball Federation of Kenya, Mr. Titus Mutui.