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Protect, nurture upcoming sports talent

By Editorial | July 18th 2020

Without doubt, Kenya’s famed athletics conveyor belt continues to churn out world-beating stars. Stories at the Olympics, World Championships, and marathons across the world’s major cities are never complete with the exploits by seasoned and emerging Kenyan track stars.

Yet behind that veneer of success lie the ruins of wasted talent that never made it beyond their debuts on the world stage. In a country that is riveted in the tales of record-setting athletes, stories have been documented of emerging stars only for them to disappear from the radar. Many of the starlets have been billed as heirs to 800m record-holder David Rudisha, Eliud Kipchoge, Vivian Cheruiyot or Catherine Ndereba. Instead, they have flattered to deceive, with some of them falling prey to disingenuous coaches and managers. Some have fallen to drug cheating and others simply wasted by alcohol abuse. Others, especially girls, have instead left running to settle down in marriage.

Sadly for others, they have been unable to handle the fame that comes with success at the international level, and ended up being victims of their own exploits.

It is time Athletics Kenya and well-meaning coaches set up proper support systems to ensure the youngsters are guided to realise the full potential their talent deserve.

With proper support, many athletes have balanced family and other life demands with their athletics career. All it takes is proper guidance and that is where Athletics Kenya should come in.?

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