Athletics Kenya postpones all athletic activities in honour of murdered Tirop
Athletics Kenya (AK) has postponed the planned season opening Cross Country Series in Machakos tomorrow as well as all athletics activities in the country for the next two weeks in honour of murder top athlete Agnes Tirop.
AK president Jack Tuwei made the announcement yesterday as he revealed plans to set up a department that will be dealing with mental health of athletes as well as offering counseling services to the runners as he said the move will deal with issue revolving around suicide, family wrangles, alcoholism and illegal drug use as well as untimely deaths of athletes in their prime.
After a series of misfortune that has befallen various athletes in the recent past, Athletics Kenya AK is appealing Kenyan sportsperson to guard their wellbeing above everything else.
“We cannot hide our heads in the sand anymore; the unfortunate incidents are products of of mental anguish afflicting various sportspersons,” Tuwei said during a press conference at Riadha House yesterday.
Tuwei is worried that a number of athletes are suffering immensely in their personal spaces but have chosen not to seek help for fear of stigma by society.
“They are considered as role models who cannot and should not do any any wrong as other human being are prone to,” he added.
It is on that line that AK is preparing for a workshop on mental health in early December during which athletes will be invited for candid sessions to identify issues affecting them with a view of formulating solutions to some.
“There is need for for a multi agency approach to slay this problem, which is clearly ballooning into a monster that may destroy many promising careers,” charged Tuwei.
The statement comes a day after the heinous murder of world 10,000m bronze medalist Agnes Tirop that occurred at their Iten home in Elgeyo Marakwet County.
“Nothing justifies the taking of the life of another no matter the circumstances.
We are confident relevant authorities are working around the clock to ensure speedy Justice to tbe family and friends who have been left emotionally scarred by their loved one,” added Tuwei.
The AK’s 2021-2022 calendar is set to culminate with the inaugural 2022 World Cross Country Tour next February.
“All the athletics activities will be suspended for the next two week as we come to terms to the sudden death to one of the country’s promising stars,” said Tuwei.
Ol Kalau in Nyandarua was to host the third leg of on November 6, Tuwei now saying they will do restructuring.
“As AK NEC, we shall be visiting the Tirop family tomorrow to condole with them and assure them of our support during the difficult times,” added Tuwei.
The fourth and fifth cross country series are set to be held on November 20 in Kapsokwony High School in Mt. Elgon and December 4 in Sotik, Bomet County.
Kapseret will then play host to National Cross Country Championships cum trials on January 22, 2022 where a team will be picked for the World Cross Country Tour to be held on February 12 in Eldoret.
In Machakos athletes are expected to compete in the five-kilometre (Under-18 youth girls’ category), 6km (Under-18 youth boys), 6km (junior women’s race), 8km (junior men’s race) along with the 10km senior women’s and senior men’s races together with the mixed relays.