‘Eldoret Express’ weaning new athletics talent in Nandi

Monday, December 23rd, 2019 00:00 |
Former world 800m champion Janet Jepkosgei with some of the junior athletes at Kapchemoiywa Girls School in Nandi last week. Photo/PD/AMOS ABUGA

Former World 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei is not relenting in her new-found passion of transforming society in her little ways.

Four years after she launched her Kapkemoiywo Athletics Camp in Nandi County,  she testifies the kind of positive response she has received more so from upcoming stars is touching..

The camp itself is significant if its geographical location is anything to go by, to the left is home of the father of Kenyan athletics Kipchoge Keino, to the right is the home of former world record holder in 800m Wilson Kepketer,  close by is the home of Beijing 800m champion Wilfred Bungei, Jepkosgei herself just to name a few world beaters.

“I don’t think it will be important to name all the amazing stars from this area and end there. For me success story will be who comes after we are gone. That is what intrigues me, that is my passion,” revealed the 2007 world champion.

Sponsored training centre

Christened ‘Eldoret Express’,  the Beijing 2008 silver medalist takes pride in the sense that her camp now has 86 junior athletes from the ages of 13 and 17 years.

It is no secret then that Athletics Kenya (AK) named the facility as one of the 14 sponsored training centres to prepare runners for the 2020 World U20 Championships planned for between July 7-12 at the  Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.

“The camp started with around 30 athletes but has grown to the current capacity, where 50 are under the Athletics Kenya/government programme. For me it’s about giving back to society, something I believe we can all do,” challenges the former world champion whose camp also has Juniors from Narok, Kericho  and Uasin Gishu counties.

 Jepkosgei who settled for  silver at both the 2009 Berlin and 2011 Daegu World Championships admits she can only do so much by herself, she admits schools have been of great help in her project.

“You see most if not all of these kids are in primary or secondary school. While we insist on sports there is  need to emphasis on the need to balance with academics as well,” she said.

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