Athletes from Elgeyo Marakwet County have urged Athletics Kenya (AK) to set up region or county offices as a way of reducing the gap between athletes and head office in Nairobi.
Led by Abraham Chelang’a, the athletes questioned why there are no regional or county offices yet athletes are spread across the country, representing the country in major championships.
He said that as athletes, they want an active office so they can reach out and solve emerging issues that can be discussed locally.
“With such offices with good office leaders it will be in touch with athletes so that they can have a place where athletes can visit and their views collected. If an athlete has a problem, the leaders can be reachable,” said Chelang’a.
With head office in Nairobi Chelang’a said the office is under secession due to coronavirus and an athlete cannot reach the head office, saying that an athlete traveling to Nairobi is not assured I they will get officials to solve the problem.
“If we could have out on office near us, our needs could be handle easily. As an athlete, I feel there is a disconnect between athletes and head office. We don’t have any physical office to handle the matters,” he lamented.
He said that AK should make an effort of putting up physical and working office where one can walk in give an opinion on how to develop athletics but there is no office, nowhere to find officials and difficult to help a needy runner especially young runners as well as raising concerned views.
“The importance of such office, we could have a discussion and lobby for help like funds from elite athletes and I have good connections outside Kenya to see how we can help our upcoming athletes in the country,” he said.
He added that local officials are only seen during AK meetings or during head office visit but they are never found.
“As we speak now, I don’t know the regional chairman .The names can only be hard during events but during other days, they are never seen.
“As athletes, we have never been discussed. We have been entertaining trees or people. Are we not important to the government? I want to tell the government to remember all athletes since majority of them used to depend on running abroad to help their families. Government help is very minimal to an athlete but now that we have such pandemic, sports, which had hired many people, kindly help them because they have nowhere to go. No income yet they have children,” added Chelang’a.
He continued that athletes only train without knowing where they will run next since there are no race.