Koome praises trailblazing sportswomen for raising expectations

Chief Justice Martha Koome.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Three-day Agnes Tirop Conference named in honour of the 2015 World Cross-Country Championships winner, who was found dead in her home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet.
  • Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed regrets that despite the breakthroughs, sportswomen still grapple with the risk of gender-based violence.

Chief Justice (CJ) Martha Koome has lauded women who have broken barriers to be remarkable icons in the sports industry.

The CJ, in a speech delivered by Supreme Court Justice Njoki Ndung’u at the Agnes Tirop Conference in Diani, Kwale County, on Monday, said the leadership of Liz Mills as head coach of Kenya’s men national basketball team, Morans, exemplifies the capability of sportswomen.

In celebrating Faith Kipyegon, Tegla Loroupe and Catherine Ndereba, she said their achievements “serve to promote the idea that women can be authorities in different fields and can participate as equals in leadership, dialogue and sports conversations. 

“These women, and others that I have not mentioned, are pushing against notions that sports are reserved for men by proving equal to the task and exceeding every societal expectation as legitimate leaders, trailblazers and participants in the sports arena,” she said.

Gender-based violence

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed regretted that despite the breakthroughs, sportswomen still grapple with the risk of gender-based violence.

“World Athletics recently announced that female athletes were the target of 87 per cent of all online abuses during the Tokyo Olympics,” she said.

“This revelation goes to show that beyond the amazing success and riveting stories of triumph on the field and on track, are tales of horrible gender-based humiliation, exploitation and suffering meted out to these young talented girls and, yes, boys.”

She said Kenya was among six countries that had more women than men participate in the 23 track and field events in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Other countries were the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada and China.

The three-day conference has been named in honour of Agnes Tirop, the 2015 World Cross-Country Championships winner, who was found dead in her home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, on October 13 last year.

Her husband, Ibrahim Rotich, the key suspect in the death of the Olympian, is in police custody until March 9, 2022, when his murder case will be heard.

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