Targeting the youth

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 1 – Over Sh900,000 will be up for grabs in the inaugural Ndalat Gaa Youth Cross country championships set for October 10 in Nandi district.ATHLETESSpeaking during the launch on Thursday, Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said that the one day event will mostly target children in line with the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) goal of getting children into athletics at an early age.

“This is a unique cross country in a sense that it is school based. We what to take this event in line with the new IAAF set up on kids’ athletics where the world body is trying to inculcate children into athletics at a young age,” said Kiplagat.

Nine categories will be competed under on the day mostly targeting school going children.

“There will be a 2k for boys and girls, as well as 4k races for both. These races will be for children who are just about to clear primary school. This will be followed by the junior boys and girls races which will draw participants from secondary schools,” revealed Kiplagat

There will also be a 12k senior men’s race as well as an 8k women’s competition.

In addition there will also be a two kilometre fun run for the aged. This will be for elderly men and women of upto 70 years with the winner getting a cow for their efforts.

Winners of the school categories will each walk away with Sh10,000 going down to Sh1,000 shillings. In addition, each school that brings a full team and wins the event will go home with Sh15,000.

Winners of the senior women and senior men’s races will each pocket Sh20,000. Runners up will get Sh15,000 and third will get Sh10,000. Fourth placed finishers will earn Sh5,000 with fifth place getting you Sh3,000.

Kiplagat added that he hopes that the event will become an annual event which will help unearth talent.

“We are taking the sport back to the rural areas because that is where we need to tap talent. Not many people have ventured there and that is why we think it is a great idea to try and reach out and see if we can unearth new stars,” observed the AK chairman.

Sponsors for the race include Safaricom who have given Sh400,000, Kenya Seed Company with Sh150,000, National Bank of Kenya with Sh200,000 and Rift Valley Bottlers who will give water and sodas for the day.

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