NAIROBI, July 17 – The government will reward all junior athletes who competed at the World Junior championships in Poland.,
Minister for sports Hellen Sambili said Tuesday that her ministry will effect the award scheme that was set up last year by the government to reward top performers in sports.
“The award scheme still stands and every gold medalllist will receive Sh400,000, silver medal winners will get Sh200,000 while bronze winners will get Sh100,000. All the team members and coaching staff will also get something small and they should get their reward within the next two weeks,” said the minister.
Athletics Kenya (AK) also gave the team Sh400,000 for their efforts in Bydgoszcz.
Gold medallists will get Sh30,000, silver medallist 20,000 and bronze medallist Sh10,000 while everyone who was in Poland will get Sh5,000.
Sambili added that she will do an inter ministerial proposal to the ministry of education to consider the teachers who were involved with the team for promotion.
The team’s headcoach Kariuki Gikonyo, assistant coaches Boniface Tiren and Robert Ngisirei and team manager Kimutai Ng’etich are all teachers.
“You have done a great job and I think it would only be fair to have a special grading system for you to reward you for your effort and input in the team,” Sambili.
Chairman Isaiah Kiplagat commended the team saying that they had done extremely well despite finishing third in the medal standings.
He observed that Kenya would have garnered even more medals if all eligible athletes had been selected.
“This being an Olympic year, we left some of our top junior athletes to concentrate on Beijing. But if we had taken the likes of Pamela Jelimo, David Rudisha, Linet Masai and Jackson Kivuva, United States would not even come close to us,” said Kiplagat.
Team captain Mathew Kisorio who won silver in the men’s 5,000metres said he is now focusing on joining the senior ranks.
“I did my best in Bydgoszcz and improved my personal best. Now I have to focus on the seniors where there is such stiff competition but hopefull with harder training I will be fit in,” he said.
For Mercy Cherono who added the World Junior 3,000 metres title to the World Youth crown she won in Ostrava last year, it’s back to business ahead of the cross country season.
“I am going to focus on cross country because last season I did well in the national series but got injured and missed the national championships and that will be my goal now,” said Cherono.