AK begins countrywide tour of youth camps

AK begins countrywide tour of youth camps

Athletics Kenya (AK) has commenced a countrywide tour on the 14 training camps set aside for junior athletes in preparations for next year’s World Under-20 championships to be staged in Nairobi.

The delegation led by AK chairman of Youth and Development Barnabas Korir started the week-long visit on Sunday with the first stop being the Central regions’ camp set up in Nyeri County.

The camp based at Ngoori Secondary School hosts 50 athletes (25 boys and 25 girls) drawn from the five counties of Central region namely Muranga, Kiambu, Nyandarua, Kirinyaga and Nyeri.

The athletes who are mainly aged between 15 and 17 years were selected from the region’s trials held on November 23 and have been training at Ihururu Stadium since December 1 with the camp set to close on December 21.

With Kenya having bagged the overall title at the World Under-20 Championships held in Tampere, Finland, Korir said the establishment of the camps will go along way in forming a formidable team to retain the title on home soil.

“I am very impressed with what is going on here from the coaches to the athletes. This is a very good group with a lot of potential to send many athletes to the national team come next year. I have visited where they train, where they sleep, what they eat and I am satisfied with everything,” said Korir.

Korir who also doubles up as the chair of AK Nairobi branch said the programme is not only focusing on the Junior Championships but is also an avenue to develop talents for the future competitions including the Olympic Games.

“I think we are on the right track although we are a little bit late. In 2017 we started the same programme and it paid dividends at the World Under-18 Championships. If could have sustained that then we could be far. I therefore urge the government to come in and help set this camp to be permanent,” he said.

Godfrey Babu, a hurdler goes through his paces at Ihururu Stadium in Nyeri.PHOTO/Gilbert Kiprotich/Citizen Digital


The athletes are being mentored by eight officials including head coach Gikonyo Kariuki who is also the principal of Ngoori Secondary School.

Kariuki hailed the programme exuding confidence his charges will make the Kenyan team for the global championships at the trails slated for next year May.

“We picked two best athletes in each event from the trials and we are currently working very well. If we can have the same exposure during the April holidays then I am certain many of these athletes will make the cut for the national team,” said Kariuki, who also doubles up as the treasurer of the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA).

Athletes take a jog at Ihururu-stadium.PHOTO/Gilbert Kiprotich/Citizen Digital

Kariuki who was also the head coach of the national team for the 2017 World Under-18 Championships also held in Nairobi, said Kenya should build on the 2017 event.

“We had a good team then (2017) and we missed on the top spot owing to only one gold medal but I think if we prepare well then we can do even better than what we achieved in 2017,” said Kariuki.

Other camps are located in Kwanthanze, Riruta, Iuani, Kiptere, Emurwa Dikkir, Torongo, Moi Kapcherop, Chewoyet, Kaptama, Mogonga PAG, Sang’oro Secondary and Keringet Boarding primary school.

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