What you need to know:
- Eldoret Grains human resource manager Jamal Awadh said they partnered with Eliud Kipchoge Foundation to support athletes who have always made Kenya proud.
- Last week, Kipchoge together with the Ministry of Sports distributed food in the north and South Rift regions where 68 athletes benefited from the aid.
World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge’s foundation and Eldoret Grains Limited distributed food to another 60 vulnerable athletes from two counties.
The Olympic marathon champion’s Eliud Kipchoge Foundation gave the aid to runners from Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County as well as Iten and Kaptagat in Elgeyo Marakwet.
Kipchoge has asked more stakeholders to support the initiative so that athletes can get support and continue with their training.
“My appeal is to get more corporates and private companies to come on board so that athletes may be able to get food because their lives are at a standstill due to the coronavirus which has affected everybody,” Kipchoge said.
In Iten, 20 upcoming athletes benefited from the donation. Athlete Hillary Birgen was kind enough to share some of the food he received with his teammates who were not unlucky to get their own.
Birgen told Nation Sport that the food he got was enough to share with his training mates who are also struggling to put food on the table.
“I was fortunate to get a 5kg bag of flour and one packet of wheat flour. I had to share it with my training mates whose names didn’t appear on the list. We are really struggling but I’m grateful to the well-wishers who came up with the donation. The food will keep us going for some days,” Birgen said.
Ben Mutai, who got a share from Birgen, said his training mate has a good heart because he saw it wise to remember them. He said it has been difficult to get food.
“I’m so happy because my friend called me immediately after the distribution and gave me one kilogramme of flour. We have been training together, but currently, we are just indoors waiting for the virus to be contained,” Mutai said.
In Eldoret, Vivian Kiplagat, who has been training in Kimumu said she was touched by the kind heart of the marathon legend.
Kiplagat said training has been tough due to lack of food.
“We depend on races to earn money so that we can buy food and pay rent. But it has been a challenge because coronavirus disrupted our programmes,” Kiplagat said.
Central Rift Athletics Kenya Chairman Abraham Mutai, who witnessed the distribution, said that many athletes are suffering. He urged county governments and the national government to consider cushioning athletes after races were cancelled.
“Athletes depend on races to earn an income. There is need to support them so that they can continue training ahead of next season,” Mutai said.
Eldoret Grains human resource manager Jamal Awadh said they partnered with Eliud Kipchoge Foundation to support athletes who have always made Kenya proud.
Last week, Kipchoge together with the Ministry of Sports distributed food in the north and South Rift regions where 68 athletes benefited from the aid.