NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 2 – The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) on Friday held an appreciation gala night in Nairobi to recognize all the Tokyo 2020 Olympians who represented Kenya at the Summer Games.
The gala was preceded over by a seminar to engage athletes on various aspects of life including financial management, cycle social and career management conducted by Ann Joy Michira, the Head of Marketing Beer EABL, Bob Kalili, a corporate training consultant and Susan Wanjiku, a finance and investment professional.
Speaking during the event, Kenya Sevens superstar Collins Injera thanked the government through the ministry of sports and NOC-K for the ample preparations they accorded Team Kenya that bagged a total of 10 medals (4 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze) to top Africa in the Games held under difficult circumstances owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“On behalf of the athletes, I thank the Ministry of Sports, NOC-K, sponsors EABL. It was a difficult time preparing for the Olympics owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, but everything was made possible from the early training camp. We were given all the kits that we needed both training and competition and we appreciate a lot,” Injera, who was once the World Top Try Scorer said.
He added, “Today’s session especially about investment was an eye opener to athletes who are thinking of retiring when the time comes like myself, this will help us transit smoothly.”
His sentiments were echoed by Malkia Strikers skipper Mercy Moim who challenged ladies to take up leadership positions when they retire from the sport.
“I thank the government for sponsoring and facilitating us from training up to the Olympics, I thank the NOC-K office for giving us what we wanted like kit, and enabling us to compete at the Olympics, we have never had such an ample preparation before and we don’t take it for granted,” Moim, who was one of the Team Kenya Captain for Tokyo 2020 Games.
“On behalf of the ladies who competed at the Olympics, we are grateful that we made it and did our best, we were many than men and we did well, I challenge them to continue with the same momentum,” she added.
Team Kenya to Tokyo Olympics Chef de Mission, Waithaka Kioni said,” I thank the sponsor, the federations for preparing athletes, thank you all, I thank the government for the support they have given us.”
NOC-K boss Paul Tergat congratulated all the Olympians and called on more corporate sponsors to join them so as to continue serving the athletes better.
“I appreciate everyone especially our athletes for making this possible. From when the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed, these athletes have braved a difficult time owing to the COVID-19 to train well during preparations,” Tergat said.
“As a leader of this team, we were at the edge and sometimes we didn’t know we could have this games but in the end we had them and ended well. I was crossing fingers that the Covid-19 test the athletes were subjected every day, no one from Team Kenya tested positive.”
“I thank the athletes for the discipline they displayed at the Olympics. We are here to celebrate the achievements of our athletes against over 200 counties globally, we were able to match victories and we walked tall in Africa,” Tergat stated.
During the event attended by all the sports stakeholders, the six federations that sent athletes to Tokyo namely Athletics, Rugby, Volleyball, Swimming, Boxing and Taekwondo federations were appreciated as well as the media that was embedded in Team Kenya.