Athletics Kenya (AK) today donated foodstuff to 50 athletes in Garissa town.
The donation is courtesy of a partnership between Department of Sports and AK targeting athletes who were in 20 training camps in preparation for the postponed World Under 20 Athletics championships following the outbreak of Covid-19 that was to be held this month in Nairobi.
The one month donation exercise has seen 19 camps benefit from the donation meant to cushion the upcoming athletes from the economic effects of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Athletics Kenya has called for more close collaboration between the county governments and the association towards refurbishment of sports’ facilities to boost the growth of athletics in North Eastern region.
Athletics Kenya vice president Paul Mutwii said the Association would engage Garissa county government on the construction of a modern running track at the North Eastern national polytechnic in Garissa .
Speaking in Garissa Saturday when he witnessed the food donation, Mutwii said lack of basic training facilities has held back progress of athletics in North Eastern.
He said that the struggle for adequate training grounds has relegated athletes from the region as they were unable to compete for national slots with their counterparts from other parts of the country with better facilities.
“It’s this imbalance that AK is keen to rectify by collaborating with the counties. We are asking Garissa County to come up with at least one running track and preferably at North Eastern national polytechnic that require minimal upgrading,” Mutwii said.
“We are going to team up with the local AK office here in Garissa and engage the county government on how best to kick start this project,” he added.
His sentiments were echoed by AK Garissa branch chair Abdullahi Salat who said with minimal investment in infrastructure, the sport would attract more young people.
AK chief administrative officer Susan Kamau regretted that the number of female athletes from the region taking up the sport has not been impressive.
Kamau singled out cultural inhibitions as the main driver and called for a sustained campaign to encourage the young girls to join the sport.
“We can only call upon the management of athletics in the region to encourage the young female athletes so that they can understand that the sport is not for males alone,” Kamau said.
By Jacob Songok