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Kenya: A peep at St Patrick Iten's shining ways

By Fred Kibor | August 7th 2015 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

As Kenya prepares for the Word Championships scheduled for later this month, St Patrick's High School, Iten is celebrating memories of globe-trotting sportsmen who smashed world records and top personalities both in the private and public sector.

St Patrick Iten School Principal Wilson Yego displays some of the trophies the school has won over the years both in academics and extra-curricular activities. (PHOTO: FRED KIBOR/STANDARD)

Since its establishment by Catholic missionaries from Ireland in 1961, the school has been a source of envy to many people wishing to have their sons acquire knowledge there.

It is famed for producing the crème de la crème in the society both in politics and the corporate world, not to mention the sporting arena.

The school has been revered for years owing to its sporting prowess and producing remarkable leaders in the country.

A visit to the institution reveals memorabilia of the historic moments with pictures of the athletes conquering the world at various meets.

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Excellence in all endeavours, the school motto, has lived up to its billing and the cabinet drawers are filled with countless trophies awarded to the school for topping in both academics and extra-curricular activities.

St Patrick's High School is not only known for its dexterity in athletics but it also ruled the nation in volleyball 17 times, 15 times in a row.

The story of this school success in the national championship from 1970s to the 1990s is akin the Hollywood movies particularly in the year 1985.

During the national championships at Kakamega stadium that year, the Saints athletic team, as the school is famously known, incredibly won all the men's event programmes except the walking race and the 3000-metres steeplechase, raking in 15 victories in total.

The school has never performed well in football and has never won a national title in the event.

Saints has come a long way. From a humble high school tucked away in the Rift Valley highlands, atop a western cliff of the majestic valley, the school started of as one-stream to its present four stream status.

Leading icons

Among the school's alumni leading in the private sector is Standard Media Group CEO Sam Shollei. Mr Shollei is hailed as studious and a disciplinarian who captained the lawn tennis team propelling it to win several accolades.

Others are Trademark East Africa Country Director Chris Kiptoo who is also the schools board chairman, KWS Director William Kiprono, former Kenya Power Managing Director Samuel Gichuru and Standard Chartered Bank CEO Richard Etemesi.

Incidentally, most of the present and past political elites in Elgeyo/Marakwet County have passed through this school.

They include Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Governor Alex Tolgos, Keiyo South MP Jackson Kiptanui, Marakwet West MP William Kisang and former Keiyo North MP Lucas Chepkitony.

The late Francis Lotodo, the late William Murgor are among the politicians who schooled at Saints.

Supreme Court Judge Philip Tunoi, lawyers Katwa Kigen, Donald Kipkorir, Jinaro Kibet and Peter Mwangi are among the legal experts who studied at the school.

In the health sector, cardiologists Charles Kariuki and Gerald Yonga, neurologists Githinji Kiboi and Eric Maina top the list of renowned medical practitioners who were students at Saints.

Among the sporting icons who honed their skills at Iten, shattering many records, are 1972 Olympic silver medalist Mike Boit, three times Boston Marathon winner Ibrahim Hussein, 1988 Olympic gold medalist Peter Rono, World junior record holder and two-time African Champion Japheth Kimutai, 1992 Olympic Gold medalist Mathew Birir, 2000 Olympic silver medalist Wilson Boit Kipketer and many others.

School Principal Wilson Yego attributes the continued remarkable success both in academics and co-curricular activities to discipline, hard work and dedicated staff.

"We instill discipline once a student sets foot in our school. This goes a long way and the students are socialised to the school's  discipline standards," says the principal.


Education St Patrick Iten Sam Shollei Richard Etemesi
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