Protect that which provides us with clean air, cautions marathon great Kipchoge
Marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge joined key figures from Athletics Kenya (AK) at a virtual event to commemorate the second International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies in Nairobi on Tuesday (7).
The event, organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Stockholm Environment Institute and telecom firm Safaricom, addressed the theme ‘Healthy Air, Healthy Planet’ which aims to emphasise the correlation between human and planetary health.
During his presentation, Kipchoge, the two-time Olympic marathon champion, called on Kenyans to dedicate their birthdays to environmental conservation.
“Plant a tree on your special day and in two years, we will be breathing better air.
This is not rocket science,” he said. “We must protect that which provides us with clean air, clean water and is a perfect training ground for our athletes.”
Last year, Kipchoge adopted 50 hectares of forest land in Kaptagat, explaining at the time that he did so as a “challenge to individuals, corporate entities, NGOs and citizens to conserve forests.”
Asked what elite athletes can do to raise awareness about air quality issues and air pollution, which leads to more than seven million deaths each year, Kipchoge said that athletes should actively advocate for climate action and clean air so that it is in the forefront of all minds and that they should attend conferences and listen to stakeholders because as influencers, they can use social media to spread awareness.