AK, AIU target juniors in anti-doping programme

Athletics Kenya (AK) will  train their focus on the junior athletes as the annual athletes’ conference kicks off on Wednesday in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County, with the goal of helping instill virtues – as a measure of fighting doping.

Unlike in the previous editions, this year’s event will be across different regions and will only involve top athletes who are on course to compete at the 2021 World Under-20 Championships.

The annual seminar that was initially planned to kick off on December 2-5 in Nairobi was set to involve all the athletes before it was cancelled , owing to challenges brought about by coronavirus.

According to AK Youth Committee chairman Barnaba Korir, the four-day event that targets about 150 athletes will begin in Trans Nzoia before heading to Eldoret on Thursday.

On Friday athletes will then converge in Kericho while Nairobi will host the final meeting on Saturday.

“Due to Covid-19 we will not be having our end year seminar as usual but we have decided to focus on a select group of junior athletes who are preparing for World Under-20 Championships and who are drawn from various camps across the country,” said Korir.

With doping cases on the rise in Kenya, the programme will also involve the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) who will educate the young athletes on whereabouts rules which is slowly turning out to be a cancer in the sport.

“The programme will primarily focus on doping and especially whereabouts rules and that is why we have invited the AIU who will conduct lessons via zoom because our intention is to reach out to these athletes while in their tender age and educate them on the importance of integrity in sports,” said Korir.

Korir explained that the federation is also looking towards partnering with schools in order to foster education among the junior athletes most of whom are currently in primary and secondary schools.