Aptitude of athletes training around Nyahururu is set to change if a partnership between them and Laikipia University is actualised. The university is promising to support the athletes in training and nutrition regimes as well as giving them psychosocial support.
A team of officials from the university led by Prof John Kanjogu met over 200 athletes in Nyahururu town last weekend and the two sides agreed on the need to work together.
Kanjogu who represented the acting vice chancellor, Wanjiku Chiuri, said the university is toying with the idea of starting a training camp where the runners will be using the idle time at the institution.
“Between the months of May and August the students are on holiday, the athletes can take that opportunity to use the training and learning facilities,” Kanjogu said.
He said the university is ready to help the runners handle stress and other psycho social issues that ruin runners’ careers. “We have had cases of top runners who just disappear from the sport midstream or we don’t hear of them anymore when they retire.
The university wants to help the runners to be active in the sport for long and also they remain relevant when they retire,” Kanjogu promised. Ninety per cent of the runners in the region have basic education since they went to Form Four.
They will be accorded chances to further their education when the partnership if actualised. Coaches will not be left behind. In addition to upgrading their coaching skills through programmes to be launched by the university, they will also be equipped with life skills to be of help to the athletes they train.
The coaches said running had become more scientific and hence there is need for them to upgrade their skills if Kenyan runners were to remain relevant at international level.
The university team collected data on what the runners and coaches would like included in the programmes meant for them.