Why stringent rules on coaches is a necessary evil

Kericho Green Stadium

Athletes train at Kericho Green Stadium in this photo taken on April 21, 2022. 

Photo credit: Vitalis Kimutai | nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • We continue to explore more avenues to clamp down on this vice and anyone caught perpetrating it will not receive a mere slap on the wrist.

About a fortnight ago, Athletics Kenya released a raft of new regulations governing the conduct of coaches in the country as far as training of Kenyan athletes is concerned.

One of these rules is that all foreign coaches must provide their physical addresses and details surrounding their training of our athletes. Furthermore, AK plans to conduct verification and subsequent licensing of coaches who have passed the minimal moral requirements to partake in their trade.

All athletics training camp will also be registered, including details of the personnel within and their respective duties. These new rules may seem a bit high-handed, especially for those who may have previously found it easy to undertake their nefarious activities in the country.

However, for those aware of the machinations of unscrupulous coaches and managers, these rules are an idea whose time has come. We have to crack the whip because if we do not do that, then we will be negating our duty to always safeguard the welfare of athletes.

Due to the lack of proper regulation in the past, many athletes have unwittingly fallen prey to rogue coaches who mislead them into anti-doping violations.

We are beholden to every upcoming athlete at the grass-root who wants nothing more than to realise their potential and grace the grandest of stages to display their art and craft. Athletics should be a source of livelihood for all talented stars who get to earn their sweat the right way.

Train clean, run hard and win fairly: that has always been our mantra as AK and it would be negligence on our part to let a few individuals soil Kenya’s reputation as a powerhouse by perpetrating anti-doping offences. Presently, Kenya is in the unenviable position of being classified as a category A country, where there is the highest propensity for anti-doping violations.

Without these stringent measures in place, the loopholes for doping offences by rogue coaches and managers will soon be gaping ditches that need a lot more to renovate. Thus, as much as some people may feel hard done by these regulations, they are a necessary evil that will benefit many more people than those who will be hurt.

We continue to explore more avenues to clamp down on this vice and anyone caught perpetrating it will not receive a mere slap on the wrist.

Korir is the Chairman of Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch. [email protected]

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