Nairobi, Dec 2 (IANS) Kenyan athletics authorities have announced that they will spread wings to search for talent in the country’s marginalised areas.
Athletics Kenya’s youth development committee chairman Barnaba Korir said on Thursday that the association will open camps in areas where they have not done so previously so that they can search for runners who will represent the country during the 2017 World Under 18 Athletics Championships scheduled for next August in Nairobi, reports Xinhua.
“We believe that outside the traditional athletics areas of the Rift Valley, somewhere in the remote marginalized lands, are young boys and girls just waiting for an opportunity to be discovered,” Korir said.
“We want to give everyone an opportunity during the second phase of the talent search so that nobody feels left out,” he added.
Most Kenyan runners are nurtured in the Rift Valley region, especially in the small town of Iten, located about 8,000 feet above sea level and which has churned out so many of Kenya’s great athletes.
Many of the world’s best marathoners and middle and long-distance runners have come from the highland region that has produced some of the fastest runners on earth.
Korir said camps will be opened in the north eastern region of the country that has in the past produced only one athlete of repute, Atoi Boru who ran the 1,500m in the 1970’s.
Paul Ereng, who won a gold medal for Kenya in 1,500m at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, and former African 10,000m champion Alice Aprot also hail from the marginalized region of Turkana County.
Korir said the camps will close on Dec. 23 and the progress of those selected will be followed while they are in school.