NOC-K rolls out aid for Kenyan athletes


NOC-K rolls out aid for Kenyan athletes
FILE PHOTO: Athletics - World Athletics Championships - Doha 2019 - Men's 400 Metres Hurdles Semi Finals - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar - September 28, 2019 General view before the start REUTERS/Hannah Mckay/File Photo

In Summary

  • The programme was launched on Wednesday with a seed capital of Sh500,000 to aid them in the wake of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic
  • The initiative will first target Team Kenya athletes who represented the country in the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the African Games of 2003 and the Olympics Games of 2004

Athletes who represented Team Kenya are set to benefit from a food programme courtesy of the National Olympic Committee Kenya in conjunction with the Kenya National Sports Council and Kenya National Paralympic Committee.

The programme was launched on Wednesday with a seed capital of Sh500,000 to aid them in the wake of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to NOC-K acting secretary general, Francis Mutuku, the initiative will first target Team Kenya athletes who represented the country in the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the African Games of 2003 and the Olympics Games of 2004.

“We first of all want to appreciate the support that the government and the Ministry of Sports in particular have given to our active athletes. We know the pandemic has affected our athletes greatly and most of them have been inactive for three months.

“We want to give food support to the athletes for the sake of their mental wellness and physical health. After consultation, we felt food aid will be of greater assistance as we continue looking for other partners in this initiative,” remarked Mutuku.

According to the NOC-K secretary general, a paybill number will be launched on Monday next week to enable the public to cushion the needy athletes during this tough period.

“We are very grateful to National Federations who have started working on some form of support for sports persons. NOC-K has committed Sh500,000 to kick start the program and the amount will only cater for food because this is a key area.

“According to our survey, the athletes cited finance, food, wellness and fitness as their areas of concern and as we appeal for more support, it’s all systems go. The government has already dealt with the financial bit and we hope to continue this initiative as long as possible,” he added.

KNSC treasurer, Charles Nyaberi lauded NOC-K for setting the ball rolling with the latest initiative as they seek to cushion sports people of all cadres from the effects of coronavirus.

“We thank the Ministry of Sports for taking care of first and second tier athletes. We implore federations to also try and come up with a support system for their sports people. We have requested NOC-K to start a paybill to rally the public behind this noble initiative,” said Nyaberi.

“The government will continue for the next two months to support our active athletes with most of them having already received Sh10,000 each as ordered by the Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.

“We will partner with the umbrella bodies going forward to ensure the program for our sports people who have represented us since independence is a success,” said Sports Commissioner, Japson Gitonga.

NOC-K is in the process of creating a database of all national level athletes, which will be extended later to include retired athletes.

According to Mutuku, such information is key because they will be able to profile and effectively find ways of addressing their needs. Also present at the briefing were Agnes Oluoch, the President of Kenya National paralympic committee and NOC-K treasurer, Eliud Kariuki.

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