Sports

Legendary sportsmen decry lack of support for upcoming Baringo athletes

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022 00:13 | By
Baringo athletes
Athletes during a training exercise. PHOTO/SweatElite.

Sport legends in Baringo have lamented  commimment from both the county and national governments in the promotion and development of sports, especially athletics in the county.

Their call comes after a retired Assistant Chief from Salawa Joseph Malatit in 2021 trekked over 400km from Kabarnet town in Baringo Central to Nairobi expecting to meet president Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy Dr William Ruto and Safaricom CEO to have them donate funds for construction of stalled Kabarnet stadium; his epic journey however did not bear fruits because he did not meet the people he expected.

A survey by KNA shows that  sports sector in Baringo despite being having a great potential has been ignore greatly by county leaders and it is only attracting concern from senior citizens who have retired from government jobs and are worried about the future of needy talented youth.

Baringo North Youth Ground Sports Association chairperson Peter Kibowen argues that though the region has huge potential, upcoming talents are unable to compete in domestic and international championships due to lack of fully equipped modern facilities.

He noted that the current crop of athletes face financial constraints amongst other myriad of challenges that have hampered their smooth participation in major competitions and he accuses area leaders including Baringo North Mp William Cheptumo for failing to allocate CDF money for development of athletics in the last 15 years he has been in office.

Kibowen said as a sports association in Baringo North, they have written to several agencies including EACC and DCI whom they hope they will assist investigate on the whereabouts of the millions of shillings got from CDF but they are never allocated to the athletics sector. 

Kibowen stated that his big dream was to see potential athletes get a chance and necessary support and inspiration in order to participate at national and international level. 

“I am interested in young people and even when I am gone there is someone who can take the mantle. I don’t want to die seeing the upcoming athletics talents having their dreams shattered due to lack of support from leadership and the thriving corruption in management of entire sporting activities in Kenya,” he reiterated. 

Kibowen in an exclusive interview with KNA in Kabarnet town said that they often chip in despite their advancing ages and shoulder some of the expenses for the athletes as local leaders and sports officials continuously turn a blind eye on their plight.                                                  -KNA

Michael Cherono, a veteran athlete from Baringo North in a rejoinder acknowledged that the current predicament has taken back the county which produced the first Commonwealth champion, the late Bartonjo Rotich, who represented Kenya and won the first medal in 400m hurdles during 1954 games in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Bartonjo, one of Kenya’s athletic fathers, is one of the first Kenyan athletes to win a medal at any intercontinental championship. The county has produced a fair share of seasoned athletes renowned for their exploits across the globe among them the President of National Olympic Committee (NOCK) Paul Tergat. He was the first Kenyan man to set the world marathon record in 2003

Others are Joshua Chelanga, ex- Airforce officer, a Rotterdam marathon gold medalist and Mary Keitany, a world record holder in women’s marathon and Mathew Birir, 3000 steeplechase runner.

Cherono said he has tried to inquire about funding towards development of programmes in the lucrative sector from both offices of the governor and constituency to a point of even serving them with letters but no feedback up to now.

“We are not castigating anybody, all that we need from our leaders is for them to be a bit sensitive and support the youth or else we remain in poverty forever,” said the former 400m hurdles champion.

He said that his intention was to assist fellow athletes get a facility where they can nurture their God given talents and subsequently earn a decent living in turn have a ripple effect to the community.

“Us as legends, we are old people, we are not here because we want to run but we want our youth to compete like other counties besides earning a living out of their talents,” said Cherono.

He said those entrusted with management of sports both at the county and national levels should be people with passion and interests of the sports men and women at heart apart from possessing the requisite knowledge and experience in handling issues meant to improve living standards of the youth.

“One of the reasons why we are performing dismally in major athletics competitions is because most of the officials are people who were handpicked and they have no experience at all to spearhead sporting activities,” he said.

He called for the refurbishment of existing stadiums in Kabarnet and Eldama Ravine which have remained dilapidated for a long time as well as establishment of new ones at grassroots so that it can be easily accessible by the budding and seasoned athletes.

“Here in Baringo for example we do not have a gymnasium for our athletes and the nearest is Eldoret which is 100 kilometres away hence this is a big blow if we were ever to train young sprinters who requires a lot of weight lifting and speed work machines,” the retired athlete who once raced at Eugene stadium, Oregon State said.

Cherono stated that Kenya is endowed with talents in almost all the disciplines but it can only be realized with proper and sustained coordination and care.Icia quis et pa sant odistio volo ella voloribus cusdant lia dAgnistio bero ipiet aut eum et fuga. Labore vel ipsus enihilitiur? Id es quae etur, nis ut pore, quam, que cum, sin pa doluptiam, ut fugitatem undit eat dolorist quas secto esciunt quatem eosandebit quam, officatur raepuditiis soluptas voluptibus dendanto int eictur, sequae net ulloribusae sit, to estota quo dolorem comnimus.

Lupientium dolupta eproria prat mint est, consed modiciis seque volestrumque volest laceprem enisquia volore, assitiis mod eatis as veri idusa num voluptatust quidignam quatusa nditas dolum corendist ut la custio to volestia dolor rem non nus aribus in parupti to bea dem aperis doluptu riorisquam alitius eum que laborrovit dolo voluptatiur? Am venis eratemquae rest acea ducim adit rent ped qui oditior untio. Il maio voluptate nem facepeliqui aspicidenia nonsed quiae re, quid unt videmol oreicaboria coriaeperum re, totamen totatur, cullaccabori dit aliquatem nos si ipsam que prepudis necea con reicipsa volore et velisci pitiorr ovidiore nis aut etur asin rerum laut volupta tibusamustem nos si ipsam que prepudis necea con reicipsa volore et velisc Sport legends in Baringo have lamented over lack of support by concerned authorities to promotion and development of sporting activities especially athletics in the county.

Their call comes after a retired Assistant Chief from Salawa Joseph Malatit in 2021 trekked over 400km from Kabarnet town in Baringo Central to Nairobi expecting to meet president Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy Dr William Ruto and Safaricom CEO to have them donate funds for construction of stalled Kabarnet stadium; his epic journey however did not bear fruits because he did not meet the people he expected.

According to an observation by KNA, sports sector in Baringo despite being having a great potential has been ignore greatly by county leaders and it is only attracting concern from senior citizens who have retired from government jobs and are worried about the future of needy talented youth.

Baringo North Youth Ground Sports Association chairperson Peter Kibowen argues that though the region has huge potential, upcoming talents are unable to compete in domestic and international championships due to lack of fully equipped modern facilities.

He noted that the current crop of athletes face financial constraints amongst other myriad of challenges that have hampered their smooth participation in major competitions and he accuses area leaders including Baringo North Mp William Cheptumo for failing to allocate CDF money for development of athletics in the last 15 years he has been in office.

Kibowen said as a sports association in Baringo North, they have written to several agencies including EACC and DCI whom they hope they will assist investigate on the whereabouts of the millions of shillings got from CDF but they are never allocated to the athletics sector. 

Kibowen stated that his big dream was to see potential athletes get a chance and necessary support and inspiration in order to participate at national and international level. 

“I am interested in young people and even when I am gone there is someone who can take the mantle. I don’t want to die seeing the upcoming athletics talents having their dreams shattered due to lack of support from leadership and the thriving corruption in management of entire sporting activities in Kenya,” he reiterated. 

Kibowen in an exclusive interview with KNA in Kabarnet town said that they often chip in despite their advancing ages and shoulder some of the expenses for the athletes as local leaders and sports officials continuously turn a blind eye on their plight.

Michael Cherono, a veteran athlete from Baringo North in a rejoinder acknowledged that the current predicament has taken back the county which produced the first Commonwealth champion, the late Bartonjo Rotich, who represented Kenya and won the first medal in 400m hurdles during 1954 games in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Bartonjo, one of Kenya’s athletic fathers, is one of the first Kenyan athletes to win a medal at any intercontinental championship. The county has produced a fair share of seasoned athletes renowned for their exploits across the globe among them the President of National Olympic Committee (NOCK) Paul Tergat. He was the first Kenyan man to set the world marathon record in 2003

Others are Joshua Chelanga, ex- Airforce officer, a Rotterdam marathon gold medalist and Mary Keitany, a world record holder in women’s marathon and Mathew Birir, 3000 steeplechase runner.

Cherono said he has tried to inquire about funding towards development of programmes in the lucrative sector from both offices of the governor and constituency to a point of even serving them with letters but no feedback up to now.

“We are not castigating anybody, all that we need from our leaders is for them to be a bit sensitive and support the youth or else we remain in poverty forever,” said the former 400m hurdles champion.

He said that his intention was to assist fellow athletes get a facility where they can nurture their God given talents and subsequently earn a decent living in turn have a ripple effect to the community.

“Us as legends, we are old people, we are not here because we want to run but we want our youth to compete like other counties besides earning a living out of their talents,” said Cherono.

He said those entrusted with management of sports both at the county and national levels should be people with passion and interests of the sports men and women at heart apart from possessing the requisite knowledge and experience in handling issues meant to improve living standards of the youth.

“One of the reasons why we are performing dismally in major athletics competitions is because most of the officials are people who were handpicked and they have no experience at all to spearhead sporting activities,” he said.

He called for the refurbishment of existing stadiums in Kabarnet and Eldama Ravine which have remained dilapidated for a long time as well as establishment of new ones at grassroots so that it can be easily accessible by the budding and seasoned athletes.

“Here in Baringo for example we do not have a gymnasium for our athletes and the nearest is Eldoret which is 100 kilometres away hence this is a big blow if we were ever to train young sprinters who requires a lot of weight lifting and speed work machines,” the retired athlete who once raced at Eugene stadium, Oregon State said.

Cherono stated that Kenya is endowed with talents in almost all the disciplines but it can only be realized with proper and sustained coordination and care.

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