What you need to know:
- Jepkosgei, who now nurtures upcoming athletes at Kapchemoiywo Athletics Training Camp, said that when your retire one has to focus on other things in life
- Former 3,000m steeplechase world champion Milcah Chemos, who has just completed her degree in sports management, also urged athletes to think of life after retirement
- Kipchoge, tackling the mental health topic urged athletes to always keep their eyes on the goal
Kenyan athletes have been urged to further their education and not to depend on sports alone in order to have a bright future once they retire.
In an interactive session during the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) pre-gala dinner hosted by Tusker at Eka Hotel in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, former 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei told the the medalists to further their education and nurture upcoming talents.
The event was to reward Team Kenya for Tokyo Olympic Games and confer special honours to former Olympians from the region.
Jepkosgei, who now nurtures upcoming athletes at Kapchemoiywo Athletics Training Camp, said that when your retire one has to focus on other things in life.
“Education and sports goes together and I want to urge athletes to always balance the two. This is what I have been encouraging athletes whom I’m nurturing at the camp because I want to be a different coach from the rest,” said Jepkosgei who is doing a course in social works.
She also urged established athletes to consider mentoring upcoming ones to avoid gaps that occur when senior athletes retire.
“I remember we had a problem when I retired because after Eunice Sum, no one was coming out strong to be handed over the baton. That is why it is important to get into the junior camps and motivate those who have talent so that we can have a generation of running,” added Jepkosgei.
Former 3,000m steeplechase world champion Milcah Chemos, who has just completed her degree in sports management, also urged athletes to think of life after retirement.
“Athletes should think beyond running and there is need to further education or do something that will make you busy that will always build your future,” said Chemos who is also athletes’ representative at Athletics Kenya.
Ferdinand Omanyala on his part said that he had a good season but balancing between sports and academics was tough. However, he is happy that the season has ended and he will be going back to class.
“It was tough calling for me because I had to concentrate on the season which was busy and it involved a lot of travelling but I’m happy at least I can go to class for two semesters before I embark on the next season,” said Omanyala.
Among the athletes who graced the occasion include, world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, two-time 1,500m Olympic champion Faith Chepng’etich, 400m specialist Hellen Syombua, world marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto among others.
Kipchoge, tackling the mental health topic urged athletes to always keep their eyes on the goal.
“As an athlete you need to get focused and fix your eyes on the prize and always challenge yourself to be a better athlete moving forward. It’s always good to know how to handle small voices,” said Kipchoge.
Later there was dinner for the Olympians hosted by Tusker with athletes rewarded in a ceremony attended by Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei and NOC-K President Paul Tergat.