NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31 – As team Kenya for Gold Coast braved the chilly morning weather for their mandatory training session at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani, two future stars watched awe-struck, perhaps so because of the proximity with the stars of the day.
Vigilant of their surroundings, Myles Muriuki and Jadidi Ndambuki followed amazed as the athletes put emphasis on pace and speed work in their final official training session before representing Kenya at the quadrennial Club Games that runs from April 4-15 in Australia.
“Tv makes them look really big the lively,” Jadidi weighed in as reigning World 5000m champion Helen Obiri breezed by.
Well with the exception of that one, Myles while consulting with his English teacher Shadrack Mwangi, pointed to the centre of the field, at the figure of a hulking Javelin-wielding man, the 2016 Rio Olympics Silver Medalist, Julius Yego, better known as the ‘YouTube man’.
The youngsters were reaching out to the celebrities to briefly share with them about forthcoming Football for Friendship (F4F) tournament in which they will be the Kenyan ambassadors.
The Parklands Baptist Primary school pupils will be part of the sixth edition of the F4F tourney that will precede the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Jadidi as a young footballer and Myles as the young journalist.
The International Children’s Social Programme implemented by Gazprom company – official partner of FIFA and the World Cup, is an Initiative that involves the young generation around the globe in promoting the most important human values among them, friendship, equality, peace and respect for different cultures and national intrigues.
The tournament will bring together 32 International Teams of Friendship will run from 8-15 June 2018 and the youngsters will have the opportunity to watch the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the first match pitting host Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki, Stadium in Moscow.
“Are you sure you can beat me in football?”Jokes 3000m steeplechase world champion Consensus Kipruto, who is aiming to add a Commonwealth accolade to his bloated medal cabinet
“I wish you well in Russia, make sure you represent the country well, you will be our ambassadors out there,” Kipruto, the Rio, Olympics silver medalist added.
Yego, who has vivid memories of Russia, having won Kenya her first field Gold Medal in Moscow in 2015, urged the Myles and Jadidi to maintain high level of discipline is great success will be achived.
“I wish you guys well, It feels good to know there are stars coming to take our places once we exit the scene,” the CID officer who will be leaving for Gold Coast on March 31st shared with the youngsters.
There was also a rare sight of team Kenya Marathoners led by coach Joseph Kirwa, who was taking them through speed work before they two leave for Australia.
“I know the perspective is marathoners can only be found training in the bush, Kirwa who is optimistic for top medal honours noted.
“Being the final training session, we thought it wise to work on speed work,” the coach who was flanked by among others Kenneth Mburu, Nicholas Kamakya and Julius Karinga for the Male team and Sheila Jerotichm Shelmith Muriuki and Hellen Nzembi disclosed.
Kenya will be seeking to better her performance from the 20th edition of the Club Games that was held in Glasgow, Scotland, were they collected a total of 25 medals.
-By Amos Abuga-