Southern Region retired athletes donate relief food to struggling runners
Published on: April 10, 2021 12:27 (EAT)
Retired athletes drawn from Machakos, Makueni and Kitui counties on Friday launched a foodstuff donation initiative to cushion vulnerable athletes, who come from the Southern region, from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic. Led by the former world marathon record holder Patrick Makau, six-time Honolulu Marathon winner Jimmy Muindi and two-time World Cross Country silver medalist Patrick Ivuti among others, the former athletes joined hands to help upcoming athletes who are struggling due to the pandemic. Over 50 athletes from Kea Athletics Camp in Mwingi, Kitui County were the first group to benefit with the food aid on Friday with Machakos the next stop on Saturday before the initiative heads to Makueni next week. Kea Athletics Camp CEO Catherine Makau, who is also wife to the marathon legend Patrick Makau, called for more support ‘to relieve the upcoming athletes from the scourge of hunger brought about by the ban imposed on sports in the country’. “It’s a good gesture from our retired athletes and I urge well wishers to come out and show support to our young athletes. Life in athletics camps is so difficult especially during this coronavirus period and so this is the high time we give back to the community by remembering our athletes who cannot compete during this period after sports were banned,” Catherine told Citizen Digital. The Southern region athletes’ representative Onesmus Makau said they are planning to seek an audience with the area county governments to rally for more support so that athletes continue with their training. “We need more stakeholders to come on board to ensure these athletes don’t suffer and we will be having discussions with our county governments to see where they can help,” he said. All sporting activities in Kenya were put on hold a fortnight ago when President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a raft of measures to curb the severe third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.