NAIROBI, April 1 – Former World marathon record holder Paul Tergat has been awarded an honorary Doctorate Degree in Community & Health Sciences at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa.Tergat was cited for his enviable exploits in athletics, sports development and philanthropy, both locally and internationally during the university’s graduation ceremony.
According to the University’s Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof B.P O’Connell, “Tergat has been outstanding ambassador for Africa and his country through his own achievements in sports and in his support for development in sports”.
Said the citation, “in this most demanding sport, athletics, Paul Tergat has demonstrated that excellence is possible even in the most challenging of circumstances. His example brings confidence to all Africans that with the right attitude and strong commitment, supported by appropriate knowledge, our continent can confront its challenges. Paul Tergat represents the best of Africa and is deserving of the highest honor that the University of the Western Cape can bestow.”
In this acceptance, Tergat noted that his passion to help others especially the disadvantaged was inspired by his humble background and the need to give something back to the community, which has given him the opportunity to excel.
He lauded the South Africa’s most historical University associated with freedom struggle for its commitment to excellence in teaching, learning and research to nurturing cultural diversity of South Africa, and to responding in critical and creative ways to the needs of society in transaction.
Tergat was wildly applauded when he reminisced that it was in Cape Town’s Stellenbosch area where he won his second World Cross Championships gold in 1996 and was now in the same city as he watched World Cross Country team obliterate the world in Poland not only to bring back the senior men’s 12 kilometers title which he had last held 11 years ago but also swept all medals on offer- individual and team.