Women hoping to make it in athletics despite getting started in their 30s

Monday, April 13th, 2020 23:07 |
Vicky Chebet.

They say age is just but a number and for four women in Kericho county, being a little older will not deter them from their dream of becoming world beaters in athletics.

While most of their age-mates would be close to retiring, the women, aged between 32 and 36, are just getting started.

Thirty six-year-old Pamela Cherotich, Caroline Cherono and Ann Chepkoech are all aged 36 have three children each while 32-year-old mother of one Vicky Chebet all have thrown their hats in the ring, hoping to reap handsome dividends from the sport.

The four say stories of athletes from the region winning big cash prizes and living large have woken them up from their slumber and although they are going to be competing against rivals as young as their children, they are not deterred.

“We have been seeing prominent athletes’ lives transformed after excelling in their sporting careers and we are also out to restart ours and fulfill our potential.

Ann Chepkoech. Photo/PD/PHILIP YEGON

We are not going to look back until we achieve our dream despite our ages,” Chepkoech, who wants to emulate legends like Mary Keitany, Margaret Okayo and Catherine Ndereba told People Sport in Kericho last week.

The four were part of a big women’s contingent that attended the Governor’s Women Athletes Empowerment Programme, targeting girls and women aged between 15 and 39 two months ago.

The programme targets those who have passion in athletics but dropped the sport due to school or family commitments and are keen to start again.

Caroline Cherono. Photo/PD/PHILIP YEGON

“We are raring to go once again. We thank Kericho governor Paul Chepkwony for mooting such a programme which will go a long way in supporting us and subsequently take the sport to the next level,” said Cherono.

The four middle-aged women had participated in a number of long distance races and posted good results before but were forced to drop out due to education and family commitments. 

Now that they have got a second bite of the cherry, they are not willing to let it go. They had been in vigorous training at various playing grounds across the county with the aim of competing from the end of March before the coronavirus pandemic halted their sessions.

“We are ready to assist and empower anyone interested in sports particularly athletics in a bid to promote the sector and subsequently move it to the next level,” Chepkwony said during the launch of the programme.

The Governor’s Women Athletes Empowerment Programme is the brainchild of Chepkwony and US-based athletics coach Ben Kurgat.

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