More athletes speak out as Nyahururu hosts AK forum
What you need to know:
- The forums are being organised in the aftermath of the brutal murder of former World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop in her home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County last month.
- Nyahururu is where legend athletes like Kipchoge Keino, Nyantika Maiyoro, Amos Biwott used to camp ahead of an international race.
The ongoing Athletics Kenya national consultative forums moved to Nyahururu, Nyandarua County on Friday where more issues affecting athletes were raised.
The forums are being organised in the aftermath of the brutal murder of former World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop in her home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County last month.
Nyahururu is where legend athletes like Kipchoge Keino, Nyantika Maiyoro, Amos Biwott used to camp ahead of an international race.
More than 200 athletes met AK officials to air their grievances, with issues to do with sharing of wealth between couples in the athletics circles dominating the discussions.
In Nyahururu, athletes have formed a union where one is supposed to contribute Sh100 every month and has been of great help especially after coronavirus struck last year.
Two-time Biwako Marathon champion Samuel Ndungu said the forum will help enlighten athletes on various issues that affect them in the sport.
“This is what we have been missing because a few invited athletes always benefit from such forums but we are delighted that they are going round the country to listen to us. We also get an opportunity to share ideas which for me will help us in a big way,” said Ndung’u, who is also the chairman of the Nyapio Self Help Group for athletes in Nyahururu.
“We have seen athletes competing and getting money and when one settles, the partner flees with all the investments which is painful because an athlete goes through a lot but we are happy we have managed to help many in collaboration with the coaches,” he added.
Ndung’u asked more athletes to come out and share their problems to avoid fatal ends.
The 2021 Meeting International, Stade Delort, Marseille 800m champion Collins Kipruto said that junior athletes have been going through tough times, with some depending on soft loans from their seniors in order to participate in local races.
“The federation has done a good thing and my appeal to them is to get in touch with the upcoming athletes because this is where talents start. Those who are lucky to get contracts will do well but a good number are struggling and leave the sport despite having talents to do well," said Kipruto.
AK Youth Development Director Barnaba Korir said the last five days have been successful as a large number of athletes turned up to discuss issues affecting them.
“Once we have finished this programme, we shall have a retreat to implement and involve stakeholders and the government to see how we can help athletes on the issues they brought up," said Korir.
"Athletes have been contributing to the economy of this country and in our statistics, we have almost seven billion shillings in circulation annually and there is need to support such people,” added Korir.
The forums take a break this weekend before resuming on Monday in the second cluster which starts in Bomet before heading to Kisii followed by Kericho and Keringet, Nakuru County.