Sports Ministry: Assistance for affected stars countrywide drive

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge (third left) distributes food to vulnerable athletes in Kericho on May 8, 2020. The Olympic Marathon champion will continue the distribution in Kapsabet, Eldoret, Iten and Kaptagat on May 9. The donation was flagged off by Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on May 7. PHOTO | POOL |

What you need to know:

  • The packages being given to each athlete include maize and wheat flour, rice, cooking oil and pasta.

Eliud Kipchoge may have launched the distribution of relief food to vulnerable athletes in the Rift Valley on Friday, but sportspeople identified countrywide will benefit from the government-engineered stimulus.

There have been calls for athletes from other regions, as well as veteran sportspeople and long-suffering legends, to be included among the beneficiaries of the relief food which has been donated by the Ministry of Sports, corporates and other well-wishers, including Kipchoge himself.

And last night, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed assured that it’s a countrywide drive, and not an exclusively Rift Valley project.

“We are happy to collaborate with Eliud Kipchoge in extending the Sports Covid-19 stimulus and food programme to athletes in the North Rift region. We are targeting at least 1,530 sportspersons drawn from various disciplines with 901 “most in need” on our priority list countrywide,” the CS assured in a statement.

The packages being given to each athlete include maize and wheat flour, rice, cooking oil and pasta. So far, the ministry has, through Kipchoge and the Eliud Kipchoge Foundation, distributed the packages in Kericho, Kapsabet, Eldoret, Iten and Kaptagat.

Selected athletes will also receive financial support to cushion them and their families through the pandemic period with funds being sent directly to their mobile telephone money accounts.

“We are moving step by step, also depending on how the donations come through,” Sports Principal secretary Joe Okudo added last night. “Sportsmen and women are our brand ambassadors and keep us entertained and so we must come to their aid in their hour of need. We are looking at all vulnerable sportsmen and women countrywide,” he added.

Kenya’s total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases rose to 649 with the announcement by the Ministry of Health of a further 28 positive test results after the testing of 1,611 samples on Saturday.

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