Southern region athletes get food aid

Southern region athletes get food aid

Former world marathon record holder Patrick Makau on Tuesday led other retired athletes drawn from Machakos, Makueni and Kitui counties in distributing relief food to vulnerable athletes in the three counties.

Some 50 athletes from the Southern region received food donations to cushion them during the coronavirus pandemic in the exercise spearheaded  by the two-time Berlin marathon champion and the region’s Athletics chairman Paul Mutwii who is also the Athletics Kenya (AK) vice-president.

The exercise which took place at the Machakos Public Works grounds near Machakos town, saw the upcoming athletes in the region who missed out in the stimulus package programme from AK a fortnight ago, benefit with the aid from the organisation of the veteran athletes in the area.

The AK programme only targeted the junior athletes who were in various AK camps preparing for this year’s World Under-20 Championship which was postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic.

“We started this programme first for Kitui athletes on Saturday at Mwingi and today we decided to donate the food to Makueni and Machakos athletes in Machakos. I thank all the other retired athletes and also who are still in action for remembering our upcoming athletes who are finding it hard to make ends meet due to the coronavirus.

“The region is renowned for producing great athletes in recent times and it would be unfair to let our junior athletes, who will be the pride of the region, continue to suffer during this period,” Makau told Citizen Digital.

Makau who announced his retirement from the sport two years ago due to a recurrent patella tendon injury vowed to help the region regain its diminishing glory adding that lack of frequent mentorship programmes from the retired and veteran athletes could be hurting the region.

“During our time, the region used to match our colleagues from Rift Valley and we would even outshine them in different races but nowadays the trend is not good and our athletes are not shining as it should be. I thank my retired colleagues who have now seen the importance of the unity to mentor our athletes,” he added.

On his part, Mutwii expressed hopes that Kenya will stage the Nairobi Continental Tour race which was rescheduled to September 26.

The one-day meet was initially set for May 2 before the COVID-19 pandemic altered global sporting calendars.

latest stories