What you need to know:
- Your many years of hard work and sometimes, painful sacrifices have finally paid off and I can only wish you sunnier times ahead.
- Within the athletics fraternity, this week has been a celebratory one for us after three of our members graduated from university.
First and foremost, my congratulations to all Kenyans who graduated from various institutions of higher learning in the preceding week.
Your many years of hard work and sometimes, painful sacrifices have finally paid off and I can only wish you sunnier times ahead.
Within the athletics fraternity, this week has been a celebratory one for us after three of our members graduated from university.
The 2016 Olympics javelin silver medalist Julius Yego, 2012 London Olympics 3,000 metres steeplechase bronze medalist Milcah Chemos and 2008 Beijing Olympics 800 metres silver medalist Janeth Jepkosgei were among countless Kenyans who were given the power to read and to do all that pertains to their degrees.
I salute the trio because, as we all know, education is a long-winding and tedious process that requires painful sacrifices in order to maintain the kind of focus that is necessary for success.
It can be more frustrating especially when you have to juggle between education and a physically and time intense career, such as athletics.
In most cases, one has to suffer at the expense of another obligation.
For Yego, Jepkosgei, and Chemos, obtaining a degree during this festive period is the best gift they could give themselves – and their families – for Christmas and the New Year.
As they say, “The roots of education are bitter but the fruits are sweet.”
It warms the heart to see these athletes smiling from ear to ear as they pose in graduation gowns and caps.
In the wider scheme of things, the graduation of the trio is a reminder to many more of our sportsmen and women to always push for the best version of themselves.
There is a life beyond athletics and how we live depends on the choices we make while on a high as far as our careers are concerned.
A rosy life after athletics may not necessarily mean boasting the highest level of education but introspect and understanding our potential before being intentional about harnessing it. Apart from being an athlete, you may be blessed to be a good musician or even a dancer.
What’s to prevent you from enjoying a blissful career in music or dancing alongside athletics — or after hanging up your spikes?
This cannot be reiterated enough: athletes need to plough back their winnings to prepare for an easy transition into retirement.
That athletics is a short career is not enough reason to approach it with a short-term mindset. As Chemos, Yego, Jepkosgei and Co. have shown, there is life after athletics.
Korir is the Chairman of Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch and national head of the youth development committee at Athletics Kenya