Token of appreciation

September 23, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, September 23 – Athletics Kenya has announced cash awards for all coaches and officials who were in charge of the victorious athletics team at this year’s Olympics.

Each coach, official and medical personnel will receive Sh20,000 while coaches who trained the team but did not make the trip to Beijing each got Sh10,000. In total, they received Sh280,000.

This comes as good news for the coaches who were conspicuously missing from the government’s roll of honour for both the Olympian and Paralympians.

“We cannot overstate the importance of our coaching personnel because they did a great job so all we can do is give them a token of appreciation for their efforts,” said Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat.

He promised to request the government which feted the athletes earlier this month, to also consider the coaches, “I am sure that the minister would be willing to spend something small on the coaches just to show that it understands the role they played.”

Kenya enjoyed its best ever performance at the Olympics in Beijing winning five gold, five silver and four bronze to emerge tops in Africa.

Speaking on behalf of coaches, Pater Mathu thanked the association for its gesture and urged the government to follow suit.

“It’s not about what amount we receive but the simple gesture of recognizing our contribution to our team’s success in China. I urge the government to follow suit because the coaches really do a lot in laying the groundwork for success,” said Mathu.

Among the coaches who were rewards was national head coach Julius Kirwa, David Letting, David Mutisya, Stephen Mwaniki, George Kariuki, David Kilundo, Joseph Kinyua, Fred Cheseregon, Walter Mwashigadi and Jane Toroitich. 

Meanwhile the International Olympic Committee has abolished the selecteion of reserve athletes for Olympic Games.

 Kiplagat said they had been forced to do so as they seek to keep the number of participants at 15,000 athletes, “The number was bigger by 500 in Beijing and IOC has decided to do away with reserve athletes for 2012.

At the same time, Beijing’s Chief de Mission David Okeyo has urged all with questions regard the Olympic Games to wait until the official report is out.

Questions have arisen on Grace Momanyi’s treatment as well as the issue of reserve athletes but Okeyo said that all will be revealed once the report on the Beijing games is completed and handed over.

“I know there are many questions and inquiries about Beijing but let us wait for the report which will have all the answers to whatever transpired in Beijing,” he implored.


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