Nyahururu gets first women coaches to tutor young female athletes from talent rich region
Efforts to empower young female athletes around Nyahururu have received a boost after two ladies took up the coaching onus.
The two, Lilian Wachuka and Beatrice Warindi, are the first in Athletics Kenya’s Central region to venture into the male-dominated field.
They said many female athletes suffer in silence when being handled by male coaches because of several issues with them needing ‘woman-to-woman’ communication.
Wachuka feels that many female athletes fall by the wayside before they achieve their goals in the sport because they feel mistreated by male coaches.
“I was driven by the realisation that ladies live in fear and cannot express themselves freely when they are in men-dominated training camps.
“The rate of transition from junior to senior level among girls is low because many give up on the sport because of the frustrations they face in camps,” the 35-year-old coach said.
She has learnt coaching practically by attaching herself to Francis Kamau of Esmi Training Camp of Nyahururu. She hopes to attend AK-organized coaching courses to acquire certificates.
Her colleague, 39-year-old Warindi, has done some basic coaching lessons by attending courses organized by the Federation and another one held by Laikipia University.
She said being a former athlete, she is privy to the challenges the young female athletes go through and that is what drove her to become a coach.
Warindi retired from running after her venture into marathon running was cut short by an injury.
“I decided that instead of abandoning the sport altogether I should play other roles and that is how I opted to become a coach,” she said.
Warindi is currently tutoring athletes at the Nala Track and Field Girls camp. The Nyahururu-based girls-only camp is the brainchild of Boston Marathon podium finisher Mary Wacera who scouted for a sponsor for the camp’s support.
Warindi explains that Nala is a feminine name which in Kiswahili means queen, lioness or successful.
Wachuka and Warindi have big dreams including overseeing their trainees don national colours in the future after winning major championships like the Olympic Games and World Athletics Championships.
They hope their presence and that of Wacera will inspire more girls to improve the transition rate from junior to senior athletes.
“Currently, there are no women runners for middle distance races, 800m and 3000m in the country and we hope to bridge that gap,” Warindi said.
Some coaches, when unavailable for training sessions, assign Wachuka and Warindi the duty of holding briefly for them.