NAIROBI, September 30 – Olympic 800 metres champion Pamela Jelimo will become the first Kenyan athlete to get a diplomatic passport.
Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Hellen Sambili said Tuesday that government will honour the IAAF Sh70 million jackpot winner with a diplomatic travelling document in recognition of her achievements this year which have placed her as one of the country’s sports ambassadors.
“Jelimo is now going to get her diplomatic passport from the ministry of foreign affairs since the sports men and women are also good ambassadors because they sell our country,” Sambili said.
Jelimo became the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic gold medal when she triumphed in Beijing. She then followed it up by winning the Golden Jackpot after clinching six wins the IAAF Golden League circuit.
The 18 year old also bettered the World Junior record; African record and national record no less than five times as well as winning the African crown in Addis Ababa to complete a stunning season.
At the same time, Sambili has received Sh3.5 million from the corporate world towards the 2008 Beijing Paralympics team.
The minister expressed her gratitude to the companies for giving support to development of sports in the country and encouraging the youth to excel in sporting activities.
“We truly support the effort made by the private companies towards promoting the youth and all our athletes with over to Sh3.5 million donations,” she said.
Jelimo who was present at the briefing hailed the corporate support which encourages the athletes in the country to perform better at international levels.
“On behalf of my colleagues who are not here I am very happy to see the corporate promote our athletes in the country and upcoming talent at the grassroots as well,” Jelimo stated.
Sambili added that the government will provide training facilities at the grassroot level by developing stadiums in all provinces where upcoming athletes and developed athletes can practice.
She urged education institutions with support of the government’s Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to develop and nurture the raw talent at the grassroot level since sports is an important activity that unifies people and can develop the nation.