Athletics: GirlsRun to prevent periodic poverty
ATHLETICS By Ochieng Oyugi | January 24th 2022 | 3 min read
Two-time Edinburgh Marathon champion Caroline Jepchirchir is among the host of elite athletes who graced the launch of the inaugural GirlsRun Marathon at St.Peters Iten Primary School, Elgeyo Marakwet at the weekend.
The race which seeks to promote menstrual hygiene among girls will be held in Iten in October.
"You can miss going to school because you are sick but you should not miss going to school because you are in your periods," Jepchirchir said.
The double Belfast Marathon winner urged the government to facilitate all school going girls with free sanitary pads.
She said pads should also be made cheaper for the women to buy to manage their periods.
Jepchirchir's sentiments were supported by a host of other world-beaters who were in attendance.
They included Shanghai Half Marathon (China) winner David Kipruto, Corida 10km winner (France) Gladys Yator, Putrajaya Half Marathon winner (Malaysia) Godwin Kipruto and Selestat 10km winner (France) Sarah Lagat.
Others were Baiya and Kavildo marathons (Argentina) winner Julian Alombo and Bonsares (Argentina) marathon winner Hussein Cein.
Elgeyo Marakwet Athletics Kenya’s representative, Christopher Kosgei, advised the athletes to run clean during the race.
"We will also have the 21km and 10km categories that will be contested by both men and women," Kosgei said.
RUBIS Energy Kenya Group Managing Director Jean-Christian Bergeron assured they will support the race and distribution of sanitary pads to help maintain girls in schools.
“The GirlsRun gives us the opportunity to promote health, education and physical activity as a catalyst to raise awareness and support around the issue of girls health and wellbeing.
“The GirlsRun gives us the opportunity to promote health, education and physical activity as a catalyst to raise awareness and support around the issue of girls health and wellbeing," said Bergeron.
"Our focus on menstrual hygiene and period poverty initiatives through the donation of the reusable sanitary pad kits will help the girls access the products they need."
"The product will boost their confidence while uplifting the women groups and local economy in an environmentally conscious manner."
Other partners on board, who will aid the race includes the Women Development Centre (WODEC) and Kenya Community Sports Foundation (KESOFO).
Wodec Director Milkah Cherotich said they produce locally reusable sanitary pad kits which will be given to the girls.
She demonstrated to the over 1300 girls from various schools in the region how to wear, wash and re-use the pads.
“We are pleased to partner with Rubis to support girls stay in school and reach their potential.
"Through their funding, we have hosted sessions on menstrual hygiene management, produce and distribute washable sanitary pads to the hard-to-reach girl populations in Kenya," said Cherotich.
Kesofo CEO Wesley Chirchir said his organisation is proud to see sports being used as an avenue to raise awareness on key issues affecting the communities.
Caroline Jepchirchir's achievements
2015: Family Bank Marathon champion
2018: Belfast Marathon champion
2018: Edinburg Marathon champion
2019:Belfast Marathon champion (defends)
2019: Edinburgh Marathon champion (defends)
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