Athletics Kenya gets Shs10m for six meetings


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By Oscar Pilipili

The race to Berlin World Athletics Championships start with the first New Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC)/Athletics Kenya (AK) Track and Field Meeting in Kisumu Friday and Saturday.

KCC yesterday announced renewal of their sponsorship for the six-series meetings to the tune of Sh10m this season.

The culmination of the races is the national trials for the Berlin World Championships in June. The World Championships will be in August.

KCC Managing Director, Charles Mwangi, presented Sh5m that is direct funding for the events to AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat during a ceremony at Riadha House, Nairobi.

The Director said the balance will come in material form and support of seminars for both athletes and coaches.

Training of athletes

“Our sponsorship will be used for general preparation of the national team and training of athletes in areas of entrepreneurship,” Mwangi said.

Mwangi said their continued support for athletics is a results of good leadership in AK.

While receiving a cheque, Kiplagat invited marathoners willing to travel to Berlin to present their names for vetting.

He said five runners will be selected based on the previous records.

“We’ll use different marathon races to select the five athletes and three will make the final team,” he said.

At the same time, Kiplagat issued a strong warning to people who organise unsanctioned meetings, saying they would be dealt with.

“The AK is not going to have any mercy of people organising unrecognised events,” he said while receiving the KCC package yesterday.

Kiplagat said such organisers cheat on sponsors only to keep with them a big chuck of the money.

No big entry

“Any official or athlete found organising, officiating or participating in such events will be banned,” he warned.

The AK chairman said that being the first event, they don’t expect the Kisumu Meeting to attract a big entry.

And for the first time, AK in partnership with the title sponsors KCC have introduced a mascot for all the meetings.

The mascot depicts a running cow with inscription “Nurturing Kenya’s Talent”.

The AK and New KCC officials said that out of the sponsorship package, Sh160,000 will go towards prize money for individual winners at each meeting.

Mwangi said athletics was a worth investment but reiterated that there was need for athletes to put the money into good use.

cross-country

The tract and field meetings start two after the National Cross-Country Championships/National trials at Ngong Racecourse a fortnight ago.

The trials were used to select 24 athletes for the 37th edition of World Cross Country Championships in Amman, Jordan on March 28.

The team is training at Kigari College in Embu.

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