Last updated 6 years ago | By -FEVERPITCH REPORTER
|Paul Lonyangata (right) and Masai after winning a race in the United States|
Principals and head teachers must play a key role in identifying and developing talents among their students.
William Yano, a principal in North Rift, said teachers hold the key to identifying raw talent and have the wherewithal to mould it to world-class athletes.
“I began a campaign between 2003 to date to develop sports among potential athletes in schools I have headed,” he offers.
“Talented youth should be given a chance to proceed with their education regardless of their economic status or KCPE marks. Many in this category have not been exposed and therefore a good number of them are languishing in the village,” he says.
He explained that they lack school fees to join secondary school, while others attain low KCPE marks that cannot enable them to proceed hence dropping out and this marks the end of their sporting career.
“I reversed this trend at Kapcherop High School in Marakwet West Sub-County between 2003 and 2010 by admitting potential athletes with such limitations.
“For those who could not afford fees, I ensured that they got sponsors to enable them pursue their studies.
Such well-wishers included the President and his deputy, who paid fees for four upcoming athletes (October-2004) when they visited the school.
Other benefactors are Clobal Sports Communication (CSC) of Netherlands which paid fees for Philemon Rono, who was third in the 8km race at the African Cross Country Championships in Kampala in March and Cornelius Kangogo who was also in the squad.
He also said the National Olympic Committee of Kenya paid fees for five students-athletes from Kapcherop High who participated and emerged winners in the USA open race-Oregon-in 2006 and 2007.
The provincial administration donated relief food to offset school fees.
The local elected leaders also played a major role in offsetting the fees. He also used bursary from the Ministry of Education to help the needy student-athletes.
As the patron of the school’s athletics team, the following benefited from his efforts:
Willy Komen (World record holder in junior 3,000m-steeple chase (2006-China), Paul Lonyangata (World Junior Cross-Country Winner, Canada-2009), Hosea Macharinyang (international athlete), Limo Kimeli (various international half and full marathons), Kimeli Telmet (Korea Marathon — winner five consecutive times), Elizabeth Rumakol (international long distance runner), Fridah Domogole (long distance runner), John Kiprotich (long distance runner), Philemon Rono (National Cross-Country champion), Cornelius Kangogo (international athlete), Edward Cheserek (USA runner of the year 2013 (Oregon University) and Edwin Rutto (Student St. Benedicts Preparatory – New Jersey among others.