Broke Kenyan junior athletes stranded in Nairobi

Kenya’s junior athletes who competed in the just concluded Confederations of African Athletics championships held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast are stranded in Nairobi as they are yet be paid their allowances by the government.

The team made up of athletes who competed in under-18 and under-20 championships jetted back in the country in batches on Tuesday and Wednesday and after bagging a total of 48 medals in both competitions.

Despite shining in Abidjan, 52 athletes are now stranded at the capital as they are yet to receive their dues as promised by the Government.

“We are frustrated because with the effort we put in for our country in Ivory Coast we have not been given anything not even bus fare that can to take us back home,” said Edward Zakayo gold medalist in the U-20 5,000m boys.

The youngsters are under the care of Athletics Kenya (AK) as they await for their pay with Citizen Digital sources indicating each athlete was set to pocket an allowance of sh8,000 per day.

AK chairman on Youth and Development Barnabas Korir who visited the athletes on Thursday urged the government to settle the juniors dues.

“We (federation)have done precisely what is required. Before any team travel we provided their bank accounts and we are requesting that they be paid like the under-18 team. The under-18 team that competed in 2017 was paid directly under the directive of the president,” said Korir who also doubles as chairman of AK Nairobi branch.

With the majority of athletes being minors,  bank accounts is also a stumbling block and Korir is thus advocating for them to be paid directly.

Despite the standstill the athletes have vowed they will stay put until their allowances are settled.

Kenya topped the medal standings in the under-20 category after accumulating a total of 28 medals (13 gold, 10 silver and five bronze).

On the other hand,  the Under-18 team settled for the second spot behind South Africa after bagging a total of 17 medals (six gold,  six silver and five bronze).

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