What you need to know:
- Ndolo explained that she has organised and financed all her fencing season, which has taken a toll on her financially.
- “I have planned, booked and paid for every single training camp and competition. I have traveled to many competitions without my coach and not once taken a physio with me,” said Ndolo on her Instagram page.
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) and the government have prioritised fencer Alexandra Ndolo’s case among other medal hopefuls for the 2024 Paris Olympics that need urgent financial assistance.
NOC-K Secretary General Francis Mutuku indicated that his team couldn’t enroll Ndolo in the Olympic Solidarity Fund just yet because the organisation is still handling her change of citizenship at the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Mutuku explained that both the German and international fencing federations have cleared Ndolo to compete for Kenya as they wait for the appeal at IOC to go through. The IOC Executive Board is due to meet in June this year.
NOC-K officials are due to meet government officials this week to discuss Team Kenya’s budget for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. It is anticipated that a breakthrough could be found for Kenyan medal hopefuls with regard to funding.
“We will continue consultating the government under these difficult circumstances to know which team or athlete should be funded or not,” said Mutuku, adding that they will know in the next two weeks albeit late.
“Ndolo is one of the athletes that we have put as medal prospects and need funding,” said Mutuku, adding that NC-K will see into it that Ndolo attend the Attica Fencing Championships scheduled for June 18 to 23 in Cairo, Egypt.
Ndolo took to social media to seek help so as to realise her dream of representing Kenya at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Ndolo said that she can’t single-handedly develop or promote the game of fencing in Kenya without support from anywhere.
Ndolo, who started to compete for Kenya after ditching her German citizenship in September last year, revealed on her social media platform that she has exhausted her savings and can’t fund her preparations.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules (Rule 41) regarding matters on athletes nationality at the Olympics, an athlete changing citizenship has to stay out for three years before competing for the adopted country.
However, this period can be reduced or cancelled with agreement from both countries and the IOC Executive Board.
‘It’s time to be honest with myself and with the people around me. I have reached my limit,” said Ndolo. “I hate to admit it, I hate to ask for help, but I feel I can no longer lie especially if those lies are protecting the system that should support me.”
Ndolo said that she doesn’t want to be the one feeding into the narrative of an African country being too disorganised or unwilling to support their high level athletes.
“I am very protective of the way Africa is being perceived on other continents but here is the truth,” said Ndolo.
Ndolo explained that she has organised and financed all her fencing season, which has taken a toll on her financially.
“I have planned, booked and paid for every single training camp and competition. I have traveled to many competitions without my coach and not once taken a physio with me,” said Ndolo on her Instagram page.
As a fencer of her caliber, Ndolo explained that it is not just unusual but unheard of.
“I have completely exhausted my resources and built up a debt that is quite frankly threatening my existence,” said Ndolo, adding that contrary to the common idea of people living in Europe, she isn’t rich.
“I can’t afford to promote fencing in Kenya, assure visibility for the young Kenyan athletes, the young Kenyan coaches and provide results for the officials whilst getting no support whatsoever,” said Ndolo.