Finnish varsity, Koitalel Samoei strike deal to help Kenyan athletes

Levy Kiplagat

Levy Kiplagat second (right) leads other athletes during the Athletics Kenya North Rift Region Under-20 selection probables, 5,000 metres men’s race at Ndura Sports Complex in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County on March 23, 2022. Levy won the race.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The sports men and women were encouraged to think beyond active sports by investing in education.

Athletes will benefit from various programmes and scholarships that will be offered at Koitalel Samoei University College in Mosoriot, Nandi County in collaboration with Tampere University of Applied Sciences in Finland.

During a stake holders’ forum for development of education, sports science and policy in Kenya, the sports men and women were encouraged to think beyond active sports by investing in education.

Koitalel Samoei University College Principal Prof. Jackson Too said the institution in partnership with Tampere University and Applied Sciences and Max Global will promote sports science in the country.

“We want to develop more talents by making sure that we incorporate sports and education by supporting athletes,” said Too.

“We have always thought of athletics but there are other sports which have to be developed and we want to tell the world that there are more sports by making sure we give our young people a chance to be engaged,” added Too.

Peter Perttula, Director of International Partnerships at the Tampere Adult Education Centre in Finland, said that athletes will be taken through other aspects of life.

“We are trying to make sure athletes are not just training but also making sure they have something else to do by improving on their skills. They have to be taught about nutrition, winning money and what happens if he or she picks an injury. Also on being proactive members in the society is what is expected from the partnership,” said Perttula.

More experts will be coming to Kenya to ensure the programmes set up during the partnership is a duplication of what goes on in Tampere.

Athletes will also get a chance to go to Finland for an exchange programme.

Samuli Liinpaa, one of the global education managers at the Varala Sports Institute in Tampere said that Kenyan athletes can always benefit from various programmes offered in Finland.

“Athletes have various options to follow apart from being active in their career. In the field of sports 90 percent will not make it to the top and with such good background, with the right education, athletes can have a career in the sports industry as a physiotherapist, a coach or even in management,” offered Liinpaa.

Athletics legend Kipchoge Keino said that Kenya needs a lot of facilities right from the primary school level so that by the time they are in the senior level, the country will be reaping from the good talents.

“We need good coaches and good facilities that will help sports men and women who find it hard to get facilities to use for their training. This has to start right from the primary level where parents and the government have to work together so that the sport can be move to the next level,” said Kipchoge.

Elgeyo Marakwet County Governor Alex Tolgos said: “The partnership will help our athletes to have a better life beyond their good performance and this is something we need to embrace moving forward.”

Uasin Gishu County deputy governor Daniel Chemno said that the partnership came at the right time.

“We are happy that the partnership will be able to help athletes live their lives beyond being active in the sport by doing something else that will bring more earnings,” said Chemno.