CS Amina to lead AK's 70th birthday celebrations

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed (left) and Athletics Kenya, Jack Tuwei during inauguration of a plaque recognizing Iten town by World Athletics as the World Athletics Heritage landmark, due to the number of athletes that train in Iten at any given time, at a function held at the county headquarters in Iten on December 03, 2020.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Archie Evans is credited with starting organised athletics and forming KAAA in 1951. Evans became the secretary of the newly formed KAAA, while Derek Erskine became its first chairman.
  • The association was formed as a requirement in any country wishing to send athletes to international competitions, especially the British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed will preside over Athletics Kenya’s (AK) 70th anniversary celebrations Tuesday at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The event’s organising committee member, Barnaba Korir, disclosed that the celebrations will start at 10am where selected veteran and young athletes have been invited to grace the occasion.

Among the veterans invited are legendary Kipchoge Keino, Paul Tergat, John Ngugi, Rose Tata-Muya, Catherine Ndereba, Julius Kariuki, Charles Asati, Mike Boit, Billy Konchellah and Henry Rono.

AK has also invited relatives of the legendary athletes who have passed on to attend the celebrations, among them families of Naftali Temu, Nyantika Maiyoro, Daniel Rudisha, Robert Ouko and Ben Jipcho.

Juniors who will grace the celebrations include Edward Zakayo, Beatrice Chebet, Mary Moraa, Ita Nao, Dominic Ndigiti and Fancy Cherono among others who are in the list of 97 athletics personalities who have been invited, also among them marathon superstar Eliud Kipchoge.

“The numbers have been kept low in line with the Covid-19 protocol,” said Korir, adding that only a few officials have been invited from regional member countries Uganda, Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Tanzania and South Sudan.

Athletics in Kenya was first governed by Kenya Amateur Athletics Association (KAAA) from 1951 until 2002 when the organisation changed the name to Athletics Kenya (AK).

Archie Evans is credited with starting organised athletics and forming KAAA in 1951. Evans became the secretary of the newly formed KAAA, while Derek Erskine became its first chairman.

The association was formed as a requirement in any country wishing to send athletes to international competitions, especially the British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

Following the formation of KAAA, Kenya was represented for the first time in the 5th edition of British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1954 and subsequent championships.

The association changed its name to Athletics Kenya (AK) in 2002, the current governing body of the sport  in Kenya, whose current president is Jack Tuwei.

Others who served as AK chairmen and later presidents are Musembi Mbathi (1964–1968), Bartonjo Rotich (1968–1972), Charles Mukora (1972–1974), Sam Ongeri (1974–1984), Paul Boit (1984–1992) and Isaiah Kiplagat (1992-2016)

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