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AK orders all runners to be registered

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STANCHARTNAIROBI, Kenya, October 17- All Kenyan runners have been given a deadline of Nov. 30 to register with their local Athletics Kenya (AK) branches.

Athletes who fail to abide by the new rule by January 2014 will not be allowed to compete at any event.

This directive was delivered on Thursday by the federation following a resolution made in a coaches’ meeting convened at AK headquarters in Nairobi to work on modalities to improve the sport in the distance running global powerhouse.

“It was agreed that all athletes will have to register with their respective AK offices in their home counties where every athlete will be issued with a unique number.

“This will make it easy to track the movement of athletes and follow their progress.

“The deadline for the registration is 30th November 2013 and by January 2014, no athlete will be allowed to participate in any event unless they are registered at their counties,” a press statement signed by AK public relations officer, Evans Bosire, read in part.

The federation has been accused in the past of failing to keep a register of active runners estimated at 20,000 making effective monitoring of progress and welfare of athletes difficult.

This laxity in administration has opened avenues for unscrupulous coaches and managers, local and foreign, to take advantage of Kenyan athletes most who lack proper education to compete for peanuts or engage in doping practices for the quick buck.

In some cases, Kenyan athletes have died abroad after eluding the official channels to compete in races while others, including world record holder, Wilson Kipsang, have told of how they were conned by fake agents.

During the meeting convened by AK vice-president in charge technical matters and coaches, Paul Mutwii, it was also decided tacticians would be graded.

“The registration, grading and training of coaches as well as assigning them depending on their areas of specialisation will be implemented,” the statement read.

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