What you need to know:
- It's lovely to see images of her smiling at her home. She was always laughing and joking with a big smile and she was a champion of champions,” said Thomas.
- “We have great athletes in Kenya, we will continue working with them. It’s good to be on the ground to know their challenges.”
Female athletes have urged the government to step up the fight against gender-based violence in sports.
They spoke on Wednesday when top officials from Adidas, led by Jeniffer Thomas, the vice-president for global sports marketing for running, visited the family of murdered former World Athletics Cross Country Championships winner Agnes Tirop at Kapnyamiso in Mosoriot, Nandi County.
Tirop was found dead at her Iten home in Elgeyo Marakwet on October 13, 2021. Her estranged husband Ibrahim Rotich is in police custody after denying murder charges in court.
The Adidas officials, who were accompanied by officials of Tirop’s Angels Foundation, planted trees near the heroine’s grave in her memory.
The foundation’s chairperson, long-distance runner Viola Lagat, said gender-based violence is still on the rise, as many people swept the issue under the rug. She said the fight against the vice must be stepped up.
“We are just at the first step to create awareness on the GBV which has been witnessed in the past and led to the loss of our hard-working athlete whose star had just started shining.
“In the next few years, GBV should be something of the past. Our goal is to reach out to everyone to speak up and fight the menace in the community. Those affected should come out and speak,” said Ms Lagat.
Ms Thomas said that she remembers Tirop as one of the most hard-working athletes and champion of champions.
“We are honoured to be here to see their home, to see the community, and to share a little bit of love for a past champion. I didn’t know her as well as my co-worker, did but Agnes always had a big smile on her face.
"It's lovely to see images of her smiling at her home. She was always laughing and joking, with a big smile, and she was a champion of champions,” said Ms Thomas.
“We have great athletes in Kenya, we will continue working with them. It’s good to be on the ground to know their challenges.”