Kenyan athletes now have some reason to smile after 11 of them were awarded Schengen visas ahead of the Monaco Diamond League meeting next Friday.
It seemed a huge loss for our athletes when the European Union announced Kenya was one of the countries that their citizens would not get Schengen visas due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This was bound to affect many athletes considering most races are held in a number of Schengen countries. Some athletes like World Steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech had even said she did not feel like training anymore as she thought there was no chance of Kenyans getting visas to Europe.
We had earlier tasked the Sports Ministry and Athletics Kenya to petition the EU on the issue. We laud them for this turn of events, but they must now do more. While we encourage athletes to train harder ahead of the races, the Sports Ministry must move with speed and give a report on the way forward for sports restart in the country.
At the moment, the athletes are training alone in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines, but they would need some teamwork, which they can only do after a go ahead from the Sports Ministry.
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So while we celebrate with our athletes on getting the Schengen visas we should move with speed as a country and find the way forward for our sports personalities.
Their careers and lifeline depend on how we handle the pandemic and conduct sports going forward, because it seems coronavirus will be with us for a long time. There is no magic bullet yet to this virus and it seems that it will linger for long.