What you need to know:
- World and Olympic 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto is one of the Kapsabet-based athletes
- Tired of too much reliance on national and county government action, the steeplechase star this week took up the initiative to hire a grader and level the running track at St Francis Cheptarit High School in Mosoriot which he has been using for training
- According to Kipruto, he heard the cry of the athletes in the region who were using the track but there was a lot of grass that made it uneven and could cause injuries during training
It sounds tired saying that the North Rift region is known for its prowess in distance running and has produced a number of world beaters.
It’s now becoming more stale adding the line “…but training facilities are in a sorry state.” And it’s been in the news that the national government has revisited the upgrade of Iten’s Kamariny Stadium in Elgeyo Marakwet and Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret, with machine engines roaring back to life.
Meanwhile, in Kapsabet, Nandi County, regarded as the “home of champions,” the state of the Kipchoge Stadium, whose construction has also stalled, has forced athletes to train along roads or travel to the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton, to use the campus track. Then there are athletes who have been training in Mosoriot in Nandi County who have also been using the Mosoriot Teachers Training College for their work-outs.
World and Olympic 3,000 metres steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto is one of the Kapsabet-based athletes.
Tired of too much reliance on national and county government action, the steeplechase star this week took up the initiative to hire a grader and level the running track at St Francis Cheptarit High School in Mosoriot which he has been using for training.
The move has left the Nandi County Government in an awkward position with athletes joining Kipruto in the efforts to prepare and maintain the grounds, work that is supposed to be done by the government from taxpayers’ money.
As Nation Sport arrived in the track that was graded on Tuesday, some of the athletes were levelling the grounds in preparation for the speed work session that morning.
Later a Toyota Land Cruiser belonging to Kipruto was used to compact an area which was to be used for training under the watchful eye of their coach Japhter Keter.
After training, Kipruto requested all the vehicles at the track to go round for three laps to help compact the loose soil. According to Kipruto, he heard the cry of the athletes in the region who were using the track but there was a lot of grass that made it uneven and could cause injuries during training.
“We used to train here and the ground was uneven and after consultation, I saw it wise to look for a grader and repair the track as one way of giving back to the community.
“We have seen athletes like Eliud Kipchoge donating food to the vulnerable families and I decided to improve a place for training, which is also the same,” said Kipruto.
Asked about the budget, Kipruto said he used more than Sh100,000 because the graders are hired per hour.
He said that he called the school’s principal, Ann Tororei, to ask if he could grade the track which she agreed and gave him her blessings.
Kipruto also said that he will be looking for murram soil to finish up on the basketball court which should be complete before the schools open next year.
Tororei on her part said that it was a great honour to see an elite athlete doing such a thing terming it one way of giving back to the society.
“I’m really grateful for what Kipruto has done because the track will not benefit him alone but the entire Mosoriot including students who are talented in athletics,” said Tororei.
His coach Keter hailed the champion saying that it has been hectic training on uneven grounds for the athletes which might cause injuries.
“The athletes can now train well in a well-levelled track that was graded. It was hard for the athletes because they would have picked injuries.
“We need a well-wisher to bring us a roller to level the grounds well,” said Keter.
When contacted, the Nandi County Sports Chief Officer Kennedy Tanui said that the track had been worked on last year, but the grass grew when the schools were closed making it uneven.