Spontaneous activity recorded as athletes put on their training, running gear

Monday, June 15th, 2020 00:00 |
Athletics Kenya (AK) Youth Development Committee chairman Barnabas Korir (left) helps a junior athlete carry a food donation at the Ol Kalou Stadium on Friday. Photo/PD/DAVID MACHARIA

David Macharia

Athletics Kenya (AK) Executive member, Barnabas Korir said it was gratifying to note that athletics was on an upswing again in Central region after a lull.

 He said his opinion was derived from recent performance of the region in athletics.

 He said in the past, Central Region produced such great athletes like John Ngugi who won World Cross Country title five times and former 10,000m world champion Charles Kamathi.

 The region had, for some years, gone without new big names until recently when such names like Bedan Karoki came up.

 Korir who is also chairman of youth development committee in the Federation said AK will continue monitoring junior athletes selected last December in preparation for the postponed World U20 Championships to ensure they realised their full potential in the sport.

 The chairman of Youth Development Committee at AK, speaking in Ol Kalou Nyandarua County where he delivered donation to support a section of the runners who are part of the Central Region team, said the youngsters hold the future for athletics in the country.

 Korir is also the Nairobi region AK chairman.

 The 1,400 runners had been put in school-holiday camps in different parts of the country but the camps were suspended following the outbreak of Covid-19.

 The plan was to have them in the camps during December and April school holidays to prepare for national trials that were to take place on May 30 where a team to the World U20 Championships was to be selected. The selected team was to go to a national residential camp.

Expect challenges

 The World Championships could have taken place in Nairobi from July 7 to 12 this year but were postponed to a later date next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has ravaged the world.

 Addressing the runners at the Ol Kalou stadium on Friday, Korir urged them to put effort in school saying athletics alone will not be enough in their future.

 “Athletics is a means to an end not and end itself. Education and running makes one achieve more in life,” he said, adding: “Don’t run just to buy big vehicle and earn big money because you will not go far.”

 He urged the young runners to expect challenges as they aspire to be top stars. He said running is a sacrifice and they have to persevere to achieve their dreams.

 A Central region athletes’ representative, Miriam Wangari urged the upcoming runners to always play fair game devoid of shortcuts like doping. 

 Each athlete got a bagful of foodstuff worth Sh3,000 and Sh3,000 in cash. They also got face masks branded with AK logo and sanitisers.

 Korir said each athlete was expected to spend Sh6,000 during the April holiday training camp. He said since the camp was not held due to Covid-19, the government decided to use the budgeted money to support the runners.

 “The money is to cover for the missed April training camp for these runners,” he said adding that the Ministry of Sports had approved spending the money in that manner.”

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