Kipchoge extends food aid to most vulnerable athletes

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 00:00 |
World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge donates foodstuff to vulnerable colleagues in Eldoret yesterday. Photo/PD/EMMANUEL MASINDE

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge donated more foodstuff to vulnerable athletes who have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic in Rift Valley.

This is a continuation of Kipchoge’s initiative aimed at cushioning those in need within North rift after starting it early this month.

Sixty athletes, 20 from Eldoret and others from Iten and Kaptagat were relieved from the scourge of hunger which has been forced on them by the pandemic after both local and international races were either cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus.

Reigning Olympic marathon champion Kipchoge said the athletes were picked from various training centres since most of them depended on races abroad and are now not able to get other sources of income since everything is at standstill. 

“The situation for athletes is not good since the affected ones lack other sources of income like having monthly salaries.

They depend heavily on races abroad. They are really in hard times. We decided to partner with other like-minded individuals to help them,” said Kipchoge.

The four-time London marathon winner, however, says there are many more runners who have not received help from different corners of the country hence the need for other people to offer support. 

Former Lille half marathon champion Doreen Cherop, who was one of the beneficiaries, said she was left in limbo after all races she was preparing for were all called off.

“I was well prepared to run and was fit to go for the titles but the virus has cost us a lot. I really depend on small races in the country and across the world but they are no longer there for us,” said Cherop.

Former La Coruna marathon winner Dominic Cheronges, who was second at the first Athletics Kenya series in Eldoret in February, said he was planning for good results this year after opening the season on a high.

“Finishing second in 1,500m was not easy since I run in road races but I did that as part of my training ahead of other road races,” said Cheronges.

Eldoret Grains Limited Head of Human Resource and Administration Awadh Jamal said they are giving back to the society by joining hands with Kipchoge to help upcoming athletes who are struggling due to the pandemic.

“We hope that we will change Kenyans’ lives and we are also calling upon other partners to help them,” said Jamal.

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