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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Tergat roots for change to inspire Kenya’s
performance at Commonwealth Games

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s Olympic body is working around the clock to change athletes attitude towards international competition by coming up with structures that will take care of their welfare.

Paul Tergat, who was elected National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) President in September, believes his is a transition governance that will transform the country’s fortune in international championships, and hopes to restore Kenya’s stature as a giant in sport beyond the track and field.

“Ahead of us rewarding the best athletes of 2017, we must look at how we have been doing our business. Youth athletes must be encouraged to take up sport and in doing so we will build a strong team,” he said.

Kenya’s Sports Personality of the Year Award (Soya) gala night will be held on Jan. 17 in Nairobi with the best female and male athlete taking home US Dollars 10,000 each.

Tergat revealed that the theme of this year’s award gala will be “Passing on the Baton”, which reflects the transition taking place in the local sports fraternity, as more established athletes pave way for rising stars and sporting federations embrace younger leadership.

The theme was chosen to encourage experienced athletes and those at the top of their careers to take up the role of mentors.

“We want to encourage the rising stars to aspire to great achievements and stand ready to receive the mantle of leadership,” said Tergat.

Of concern for the Kenyan sports official is the country’s preparations and performance at the international competitions, starting with World Half Marathon (Valencia, Spain), World Indoor Championships (Birmingham England) and the Commonwealth Games (Gold Coast Australia). Rugby’s World Series is also of significant with Tergat calling on respective federations to take the competitions serious.

“These are competitions that will define our leadership as officials and our strength as athletes from Kenya. We must focus on bringing out our best talent and give it the best shot,” said Tergat.

Kenya intends to send a team of over 350 athletes and officials to the Commonwealth Games in April, which will set the country back some 4 million US dollars.

However, with no World Championships in Athletics or the Olympics, the track and field athletes will put their best foot forward at the Commonwealth Games, which comes in April.

Kenya won 10 gold medals in the last competition in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014, which was two less than what it harvested in Delhi, India in 2010. But Tergat is hopeful the team being prepared will weather the storm and register the country best performance in Gold Coast. 

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