What you need to know:
- He spoke Tuesday after hosting Faith Kiyegon and Ferdinand Omanyala for breakfast at State House, Nairobi.
Kenyan athletics sensational star Faith Kipyegon Tuesday received Sh5million and a new three-bedroom house worth Sh6 million for breaking two world records from President William Ruto.
The President also said that the government will award any athlete Sh5 million for breaking a world record. He spoke Tuesday after hosting Faith Kipyegon, Ferdinand Omanyala and other athletes for breakfast at State House, Nairobi.
The President awarded Omanyala, the Commonwealth and Africa 100m champion, Sh2 million.
At the same time, Ruto delinked the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund (Sports Fund) from any other engagements saying that funds raised will solely be dedicated to sports, arts and creative economy.
The President said the existing cash reward scheme must be reviewed to cut across sports, arts and creative economy.
Accompanying Kipyegon and Omanyala were 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech and Commonwealth Games 800m champion, Mary Moraa, two-time world cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor, and the 2017 World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui.
Kipyegon, who was flanked by her husband, 2012 London Olympics 800m bronze medallist Timothy Kitum, daughter Alyne and their parents Samuel and Linah Koech, will now occupy a three bedroom house at Park Road, Nairobi.
The house is part of the apartments constructed by the government under the affordable housing scheme.
The President was accompanied by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Cabinet Secretary for Sport, the Arts and Youth Affairs, Ababu Namwamba, Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei among others.
“Going forward, we have decided that any Kenyan who participates in a world event and goes on to break a world record, unlike in the past, will be recognised through cash rewards,” said Ruto.
“It will be the same for all over world breakers.
The President said that he has directed Namwamba to review the reward scheme so that the country can recognise and reward appropriately men and women, who attain excellence in sports, arts and creative economy.
In the existing scheme started by the late President Mwai Kibaki, those winning gold medals from the Olympics pocketed Sh1m, silver medallists, Sh750,000 and bronze medallists Sh500,000.
Winners at World Athletics Championships received Sh 750,000, silver medallist Sh500,000 and bronze medallists Sh300,000.
“In recognition of what our sportsmen and women are doing, we have had a policy shift, I have instructed the ministries concerned to move away from crowding the Sports Fund with other requirements. Sports Funds is going to be dedicated solely to matters of sports, arts and the creative economy," said Ruto.
Currently, the Sports Fund that draws money mainly from betting is shared with the Ministry of health among other engagements with only 35 percent going to sports and five percent to arts.
Ruto described it as a humbling and great morning hosting Kipyegon to celebrate her historic two records she set within a span of a week.
“This morning, I offered breakfast to Faith, her parents and also fellow athletes to celebrate and recognise what she has done not only for herself, but our country,” Ruto said, adding that Kipyegon stands as a shining model of consistency, discipline, hard work as well as family.
“Faith is a great Kenyan woman, mother, wife and a world champion rolled into one,” said Ruto, who hailed Omanyala as Africa's sprint king.
“When I see Omanyala, I see a great future for young Kenyans especially in the field of sprint...I see Alyne (referring to Kipyegon’s daughter) as the future.”
The President also took time to celebrate fast rising 800m duo Emmanuel Wanyonyi and Mary Moraa, who accompanied Kipyegon to celebrate her great feat.
"Kenya is assured of a great athletics future," said Ruto.
Namwamba said the reward scheme, which will for the first time address top performers in team events, will be launched by the President.