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Allegations concerning harassment in High Altitude Training facility

Roy Lumbe @PeopleSports11

Nakuru County Government is working with Athletics Kenya (AK) and other agencies in investigating cases of sexual harassment in private athletics camps at Keringet in Kuresoi South. In the recent past, the camps in Keringet have been in the spotlight following cases of sexual assault of young female athletes by their coaches and managers.

However, Nakuru deputy governor Eric Korir said that the county is committed to have the sport thrive and vowed to prosecute wayward coaches involved in the incident. “The county government is committed to ensure that such rogue coaches are prosecuted and their licences revoked. We are working with all relevant bodies on the matter,” said Korir.

He was speaking after leading a delegation to North Rift counties on a benchmarking tour on athletics. The team visited Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Bungoma and Uasin Gishu counties in two days. Nakuru county is set to open professionally run high altitude training camps at Keringet and Sirikwa to nurture sporting talent in the county.

Nakuru is home to world-beaters who depend on bumpy rural feeder roads and school fields, which at times are occupied by students. Of the five gold medals that Kenya bagged at the Rio Olympics, two were from Nakuru; 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich and marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui.

Nakuru is set to join Bungoma County as the only devolved counties with sports training camps. Started in 2014 by then Governor Ken Lusaka (now Senate Speaker), once complete, the Chemoge High Altitude Training Camp in Mt Elgon will attract local and international athletes for advanced high altitude training.

The project is in three phases with the first one which cost Sh60 million already complete. It has an administrative block with basic training facilities that will host a physiotherapy room, gymnasium, office rooms for trainers, a restaurant and a kitchen. The second phase will mostly include accommodation facilities before finalising the project with a training track.

Mt Elgon region has produced renowned athletes such as the 1972 Olympics silver medallist Ben Jipcho. Jipcho also won the 5,000m race in the 1973 All-Africa Games and gold medal in the 5,000m and 3,000m Steeplechase, and the bronze medal in the 1,500m at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Others are Lynet Masai, a former junior 10,000m world record holder and his elder brother Moses Ndiema Masai, bronze medal at the 2007 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

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