Athletics Kenya Federation (AKF) President Major (Rtd) Jackson Tuei has stated that the organisation will enact key reforms that will see the well-being of athletes addressed so as to lift athletics in the country.
Tuei who spoke in Sotik, Bomet County, said the federation has compiled opinions from the athletes around the country and that AKF officials, who were charged with the exercise, were expected to table the findings for assessment.
Challenges facing the athletes came into renewed focus after the recent unfortunate incident that saw celebrated Olympic icon Agnes Tirop killed after a suspected case of domestic violence.
“Earlier on, we used to have a gala where we awarded the athletes who performed very well that year, but afterwards issues regarding doping cropped up and we were forced to organize additional seminars to sensitize them on the dangers of the vice,” said Tuei.
“After that we understood that there were other challenges facing our athletes, that is why we introduced a consultative forum, where we encouraged our athletes to open up on personal issues distressing them,” he said.
Tuei said AKF was keen on uplifting the level of athletics in the country moving into 2022, noting that the recent events, including the Sotik National Cross-Country Championships, were organized differently saying the athletes and their coaches have equally responded to the new development positively.
He revealed that the athletes were paid better than before, saying the same has seen more upcoming talents join county teams as well as training camps all over the country.
At the same time, Tuei urged the 47 County Governments to provide enhanced training facilities and equipment since sports was a devolved function, saying the existing facilities in some counties should be improved to get close to international standards.
He urged the coaches to prepare their athletes well for February 12 world cross-country continental tour, the newest event to be held in Eldoret.
The event will be used to select participants to take part in world cross country that was rescheduled for 2023 in Australia, following the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic.
Tuei added that 2022 will be a busy year, with the Kipkeino classics continental tour scheduled for May 2022, while Africa Junior Championships will be held in June, an event where qualifiers, to participate in world championships in Oregon US, will be selected.
The world under 20 to be held in Colombia and Commonwealth games to take place in Birmingham, United Kingdom, are some of the other major events around the world, including a myriad of marathon competitions in various cities around the world.
By Kipngeno Korir