Athletics officials and coaches based in Nyahururu, Laikipia County have raised alarm over the growing number of runners who are starving due to interruption of sporting activities by Covid-19 pandemic.
They appealed to both county governments of Laikipia and Nyandarua to give food donations to runners who have resulted to doing non-sporting activities to put food on the table.
The runners who derive their livelihood from prize money which they get from participating in races locally and internationally said their lives have been turned upside-down by either stoppage or scale down of sports globally, since last year, because of the pandemic.
One of the affected runners sent an SOS message to former Nyahururu municipal council sports officer, Lawrence Miano who is now Athletics Kenya official, saying she and her colleagues were starving in their rented house in Nyahururu town and urged him to bail them out by sourcing foodstuff for them.
“The message touched me and my family so much that we decided to do something,” Miano said yesterday after distributing beans and flour to 50 athletes at the Nyahururu stadium.
Miano who is also AK Nyandarua County secretary was accompanied by his son Benjamin Wambugu, a mechanical engineer who boosted the family’s donation with bales of wheat flour.
He said his family was assisted by a Nakuru business lady who donated 50 packets of 5kg maize flour.
A retired athlete, James Ndung’u boosted the donation with a bag of maize. Ndung’u who for many years was based in Japan said the maize was from his farm in Subukia, Nakuru County.
Half marathon runner, Susan Wanjiru who has not competed in races since last year when the pandemic caused many races to be cancelled said life has been very hard.
“Some of the races were cancelled in the last minute when some of us had acquired visas which cost money,” she said
Coaches picked the 50 athletes whom they said were very needy cases to receive the foodstuff.
By Anthony Mwangi