Why Mwanariadha Pension Scheme is a game-changer

Charles Asati and John Carlos

Charles Asati (right), gold medallist in 4×400 metres relay at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games shares a light moment with John Carlos of USA, bronze medallist in the 200 metres at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games at Safari Park Hotel on May 12, 2023 on the eve of Absa Kip Keino Classic. 

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • History is awash with many case studies of sportsmen and women across the world who are knee-deep in financial troubles and abject poverty
  • Here in Kenya, we have read and heard of unfortunate stories of Kenyan sports heroes with nothing to show for their peak years on the track and field
  • We will be launching the scheme on October 7 at the Karura Forest during which we will mark this milestone with a 5km fun run

It is a no-brainer that the life of any sportsperson on the fast lane is a brief but thrilling one. It is a period that is often accompanied by glitz and glamour courtesy of prize monies, brand endorsements, and a larger-than-life status. 

However, all these become a distant memory if athletes do not plan for the sunset years. History is awash with many case studies of sportsmen and women across the world who are knee-deep in financial troubles and abject poverty. 

Here in Kenya, we have read and heard of unfortunate stories of Kenyan sports heroes with nothing to show for their peak years on the track and field. Stories of Mpesa paybills being issued as an SOS have become commonplace in the industry from retired sportspersons across the country. 

This is why Athletics Kenya (AK) mooted and came up with the Mwanariadha Pension Scheme which seeks to provide tens of thousands of Kenyan athletes with a platform to save for a rainy day in their sunset years. 

This initiative is a collaboration between the federation and the County Pension Fund (CPF), which also seeks to provide athletes with skills in financial management and wealth creation. 

Athletes will be provided with priceless knowledge and skills on how to make wise investments as well as identify business opportunities in their localities. 

Indeed, it is an idea whose time had come as early as the yesteryears. It is a credible scheme that safeguards athletes from unscrupulous people who swindle them of their hard-earned money through get-rich-quick schemes, ghost projects, and fraudulent deals. 

With the Mwanariadha Pension Scheme, athletes can focus on their exploits on the track and field, comfortable in the knowledge that their future is secured. It is an opportunity to not only bequeath a great name to their offspring but also wealth that ensures the young ones get the best life has to offer. 

This initiative is not only open to elite athletes but the upcoming ones as well. Hence, we will be seeking to inculcate this saving culture at the grassroots by working with schools and training centres to enlighten young athletes on the need to enroll in this scheme at the infancy of their careers. 

We will be launching the scheme on October 7 at the Karura Forest during which we will mark this milestone with a 5km fun run. All are invited to attend as we set in motion this gamechanger that will put many on the path to monetizing their talents.

Korir is the chairman of Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch.