Tergat ready to mingle with all at Nock
Legendary athlete Paul Tergat has vowed to work with whoever will be elected into office during the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) Elective General Assembly slated for September 29.
The former world marathon record holder who is set to be elected unopposed as Nock president swatted rumours claiming he is aligned to ‘Team Change’ that set out to wipe the slate clean with the election of an entirely new administration.
In a statement, Tergat emphasised the purpose of the forthcoming election is to give stakeholders an opportunity to select ‘a strong and focused team’ to lead the embattled national body as he pledged to ‘associate with everybody’.
“The fact that I have been seen talking to some groups does not necessarily mean I’m endorsing them. Like everyone else, I am anxiously waiting to see how the exercise will turn out. After all, I only have one vote and a lot will depend on who the federations want to serve them in different capacities.
“We are all campaigning and considering the position I want and thus I am inclined to talk to everyone. I have tried my best to reach out to every association because I cannot run a divided house. You realize sports have stalled since Rio Olympics 2016 and since we have already set up a date, we need to work with it and not pass the buck,” Tergat underscored.
The five-time World Cross Country champion said Nock is big enough to accommodate everyone irrespective of whether or not they are in leadership.
“You don’t need to be in Nock leadership to serve your federation because our role is to cater for every federation,” he quipped.
Tergat explained that the core concern for Nock at the moment is focus and committing to cooperate with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which has been critical of the national body’s internal activities.
He noted that with the Commonwealth Games less than six months away, a lot of work needs to be done if the country is to be represented effectively.
“We are already too late for the games and the more we engage in rhetoric, the more we lose on time to prepare adequately,” he warned.
“We have in the past performed well in disciplines across the board because sports was about the athletes. Nowadays, officials think about themselves first hence the current trend. This is what I would like to see changed and it will no longer be business as usual if I am given the mandate to lead the organization,” he offered.
He urged aspiring candidates to exercise sportsmanship and compete in a friendlier environment.
“This is not a matter of life and death because after the polls, we will still need each other in the sports arena,” he added.
He said his first assignment if elected will be to ensure there is unity among the federations that are currently divided.
“Charity begins at home and for Nock to function, federations have to speak with one voice.”