Athletics Kenya in collaboration with the world Anti Doping Unit (AIU) over the week carried out an all extensively brilliant workshop targeting the younger generation of the athletes in a bid to tame the doping menace from spreading over.
The choice to end the year with a hard hitting training for under 20 athletes across the country is indeed one of the great moves in managing the monster for a better tomorrow in the sport- with the bubble anti-doping campaign mainly focusing on the character development and the mindset of an athlete over the vice.
The sensitisation took place in four regions across the country; that is in Kitale, Eldoret, Kericho before culminating in Nairobi with over 300 athletes benefiting from this kind of training.
AK president retired Gen Jackson Tuei start off well the event by urging the trainees to act as the role model in bringing back the glorious past of clean sport in running. For the upstarts to be a good example to the world by resisting the temptations to use drugs and winning clean.
‘Those athletes who competed in 60s, 70s and 80s brought us much glory. Unfortunately we started having problems in the 90s to date. We feel it’s important that the young athletes can listen to the lessons being provide and help us get out of doping problems. You can compete and win clean without using prohibited substance. You are the future of the athletics in this country. Everyone in Kenya and the world is looking up to you,’
Youths Development Committee director Barnaba Korir reminded the teens to take emphasis on the lessons taught at the seminar noting that this will help them in building their careers respectively besides a good preparation ahead of the delayed World Under20 championships planned for next year July in Nairobi
‘This is a continuation of what AK has been doing in your preparations towards the WU20 rescheduled for next year. You must put emphasis on what you will be taught because it will help your career development,’ Korir said.
Facilitator John Tirop was the man driving the point home on character development touching on three key areas that calls for an athlete to first have self respect. The need to keep stay away from anything that is likely to ruin your image and self esteem. Secondly the respect to others and being responsible for what we do.
Tirop further reminded them on the need to uphold the integrity noting that this one of the integral value to maintain in our lives. And expectations to becoming a role model in order to keep our standards high.
Claire Limo another facilitator taught them on an importance of avoiding the wrong-groups- the need to stop engaging in illicit affairs that would likely influence them into doing the bad things that includes temptations for shortcuts in life.
Aditya Kumar, AIU Head of Education and Communication advised the athletes to preserve integrity by acting as the role model in the push to have a clean sport for tomorrow. He told them to stick to their good characters of doing the right thing and stop the temptation t to cheat or abetting in similar offences.
‘Always find what is important for you and hold on to it. Do not allow yourself to be lured into cheating instead stand firm and report any malpractices around you. Remember you are the role model to a clean sport,’ Kumar summed.
Veteran coach Japhet Kemei welcomed the idea saying this is the way to go. He urged AK to make the program an annual thing so that the newer generation of athletes will benefit. During the kericho leg, Kemei confirmed that over 10 camps attended and were pleased for the rare opportunity.
Athlete’s representative from Kericho County Peter Cheruiyot acknowledged the vitality of the program saying it was timely. He however urged the federation to in future be more inclusive from this years’ which acted like a pilot.
‘This is good thing coming through now. We now hope that AK will consider those people who were left out yet they deserve it. Let’s have these trainings going to every young athlete across after the world championships in Nairobi; perhaps starting next year. All coaches in their regions also deserve inclusion because they will be handling an athlete at whatever level,’ Cheruiyot said.
Former world champ in steeples and currently the local National athlete rep Milcah Chemos congratulated the organisers of the noting that it was the best time and stage to focus in the young generations. She hinted on a likely future plan of involving the parents to these athletes in this anti doping training program
‘I am happy seeing this kind of focus on the little ones. The right group to groom and we hope to see them prosper into a clean world of sport. We even hope to see the sensitisation coming through to the doors of our youths by involving their parents in future workshops,’ Chemos said.