NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 10 – The Kenyan team that will represent the country at the Rio 2016 Paralympics in September has received a boost of Sh5m from mobile network operator Safaricom to aid in their preparations.
Speaking at a luncheon, Safaricom Director of Strategy and Innovation Joseph Ogutu expressed optimism in the team’s performance at the event.
“It is an honour to be able to support all our athletes, especially those who are differently abled, as they often do not get the recognition they deserve,” said Mr. Ogutu.
“We are here to tell them that we appreciate the hard work they put into sharpening their skills and representing Kenya on the global stage. We believe that they are going to achieve their aspirations in Rio and we want them to know that we support them all the way,” he added.
Through the Safaricom Athletics Series, the company has supported various sporting initiatives for differently-abled athletes, including the Safaricom Deaf Half Marathon, Deaf Championships and Henry Wanyoike Hope For The Future Run.
The 80-member team consists of 41 athletes including Paralympic world marathon record holder Timoi Kipelian and power lifter Gabriel Magu.
“It feels good to be recognised by one of the top corporate organisations in Kenya. Safaricom is the only sponsor backing the Paralympics team at the moment and I would like to thank them for their support,” Kenya National Paralympics Committee president, Agnes Oluoch said.
“The team has been training hard and is in top form, now what we would like is for all Kenyans to be just as interested in the Paralympics as they are in the Olympics, because the team needs your support,” she added.
The Rio 2016 Paralympics have attracted over 4,350 athletes from more than 160 countries across the world, who will be competing in 528 medal events in 22 different sports.