NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 18- Athletics Kenya (AK) will work with all the 47 county governments in a bid to establish county level Youth Training Camps to increase the scope of talent tapping and nurturing to ensure future world beaters are molded at an early age.
Speaking to Capital Sport, AK boss Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei said talks are already in progress and this should be achieved once the Council of Governors approves the proposals.
“We have already discussed with the chair of the Sports Committee in the Council of Governors (Paul Chepkwony, Kericho Governor) on how the counties can come into this. We have another meeting planned and he has promised to present the proposal to the council,” Tuwei said.
“Our plan is to have a program where we can have these kids in camp in every county and we cannot do it alone as AK. Our work is mostly to coordinate. These counties have budgets for sports and we should tap into that. We already have a program with schools and once we add this, we are good to go,” added the former military man.
The move is necessitated by the wealth of talent discovered as Kenya pruned out its team for the IAAF World U18 Championships which ended last Sunday in Nairobi and Tuwei has admitted that there is immense talent in the grassroot only lacking exposure.
He added further that the federation will look at ways in not only putting up the camps but also equipping them with the right equipment and coaches to ensure the talent is guided and molded in the right way.
Tuwei has admitted the lack of more qualified technical personnel especially in the sprints and field events has hampered Kenya’s growth in disciplines that are not traditionally known to emanate from the country.
However, the administrator has promised more technical officials, including retired athletes will be trained to ensure the athletes are equipped with skills and tactics.
Meanwhile, Tuwei says the team that represented Kenya in the just concluded U18 games in Kasarani, will be nurtured with a good percentage of them eying a transition to the juniors, with next year’s IAAF World Junior Championships set for Tampere, Finland.
“The only challenge is that most of them are still in school and the only time to get them together is during the holidays. But we will keep tabs on them and when the trials come, we will definitely give them a chance,” Tuwei added.
At the same time, Tuwei congratulated the team for the good performance in Kasarani, finishing fourth after accumulating 15 medals, 4 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze.
“It was a very good performance because none of these athletes had been previously exposed to such an atmosphere. The pressure that comes with the expectation might have weighed down on them a bit but nonetheless, we are proud of their performance,” Tuwei noted.
Kenya picked four gold medals through George Manang’oi in the 1500m, Leonard Bett and Caren Chebet in the 2,000m steeplechase Boys and Girls respectively as well as Jackline Wambui in the 800m Girls.