David Macharia @peoplesport11
A Nyahururu holiday athletics training camp for junior runners has become popular after one of its apprentices won a medal in the last edition of World Youth Championships. Stanley Waithaka won a bronze in the 3,000m race at the world event held in Nairobi in July last year, a performance that caught eyes of many youngsters interested in becoming runners.
During its December convention, the camp attracted runners from Trans Mara and Taita Taveta, Samburu and Nairobi. From Trans Mara was a secondary school student, Victor Mutai who is seeking to follow in his late father’s footsteps in the sport.
Mutai’s father, Wesley Ng’etich was one of the casualties of the 2007/8 post election violence. He was killed in his home area a few days before he flew out for an international marathon. The son who is in Form Four at Chebunya Boys High School in Bomet County says he wants to take running to go places and “not just a pass time thing”.
“In primary school I used to run up to County level because I was not serious then but I am now focused and serious”, the youngster said during a final training session at Maili Saba, Nyahururu sub county before Christmas.
Each of the 30 athletes who attended the holiday camp has picked an athletics role model whom they want to emulate. The role models are both retired and active runners of international repute.
The convener of the camp, Francis Kamau who is also a Nyahururu-based coach said he started receiving calls from parents who wanted their children to join the camp for the December training after Waithaka won the medal at the world Youth Games.
“The medal won by Waithaka has catapulted popularity of the camp to another level and many parents are eager to bring their children in the next holiday training session,” Kamau said.
Kamau said the holiday training sessions, which he started in 2015, are meant to inculcate interest of the sport in talented youngsters so that Nyahururu area can continue with its athletics production line.