NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 – The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) has appealed to the government to avail more funds to be used specifically for an extended training period before future Olympic Games.
Kenya Head of Delegation to last year’s Beijing Olympic Games David Okeyo said on Monday that the Olympic team needs an average of six months to train for the sports extravaganza if they are to ensure continued success.
“The training period that we are given to prepare the team is not enough,” said Okeyo who was speaking at the hand-over ceremony of NOCK’s report on the Beijing Games to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs.
“Each time we ask for longer periods of training, we are told that that there are not enough funds to cater for that,” he added.
Okeyo who was highlighting some of the recommendations contained in the 62-page report stated that preparations for the Olympics should be an ongoing process.
“Training should have started immediately we left Beijing. Funding should be sourced so that federations should not struggle on their own to train and expose athletes at the same time,” said Okeyo.
The report also calls for coaches and the rest of the team’s technical staff to be recognised for the sterling job they do to ensure that the team performs well at the Olympics and other major championships.
“These athletes cannot succeed without somebody behind them. These people have been forgotten and it is an area that I would like to plead with the government to look into,” said Okeyo who is also the Secretary General of Athletics Kenya.
Last year’s Beijing games was the most successful in Kenya’s history after the team came back with a record haul of 14 medals that included five gold, five silver and four bronze to finish 18th overall on the medals table.
Last year’s Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) winner Pamela Jelimo also wrote herself into Kenya sports folklore becoming the first Kenyan woman to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games.
Half marathon world record holder Samuel Wanjiru also produced another magical moment after becoming the first Kenyan to win gold in the Olympic marathon.
The report itself contains individual reports from the team managers of athletics, boxing, rowing, swimming and taekwondo.
NOCK chairman Kipchoge Keino appealed to the government to improve facilities for young people to train and participate in sports so that untapped talent particularly in poverty stricken areas can be unearthed.