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Universities urged to unearth talent

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ISAIAH-KIPLAGATNAIROBI, Kenya, November 2 – Athletics Kenya (AK) president, Isaiah Kiplagat urged universities to take a lead in the development of world class talent on Saturday.

Kiplagat was speaking at St. Paul’s University, while officially opening a student’s centre aimed at sharpening their skill in various sporting disciplines.

“Most of participants in Olympics and World championships come from Universities it’s only in Kenya where they don’t participate because it has not taken root.

“We want to go round the Universities to preach the gospel of making sports part and parcel of their functions, so that we can get the best sportsmen, currently we get them from Primary and High School but there after that’s the end of their sports career.

“If we can work with the learning institutions to talk about scholarships, that will be a breakthrough to see the best sportspersons from our local Universities,” the AK boss told.

“Schools that combine extra-curricular and academics become the best in the world so I encourage students to think seriously about sports while concentrating on their education.

“We are heading to Kenyatta University very soon, not only to talk about athletics but all sports including rugby, football, hockey and other indoor games, we are discussing with them to train sports doctors because we don’t have a qualified one at the moment and if we do all this, we will go very far in the development of sports in this country,” he explained.

St. Paul’s University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Galgalo said the centre that cost over USD 11696.43 (Sh100m) will be used to host international events since it meets required standards.

“We value training and that is why we have invested on this centre, our next project is to construct an Olympics size swimming pool.

“Beyond academics, the focus of the institution is to produce best sports talent in the country,” Galgalo said as the University hosted the Inter Campus sports day where students participated in football, volleyball, handball, basketball, netball and badminton.

The facility comes with a basketball court, lawn tennis court, indoor games and a fully equipped gym.

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