NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
A senior sports official in Kenya has
advised athletes to prepare for life after retirement from
Jackson Tuwei, president of
Athletics Kenya (AK), said Kenyan athletes retire at a
relatively young age, some even before they are married and
therefore lack crucial life skills.
"Most of them retire from active competition before they
"At the federation, we encourage them to pursue and at the
same time prepare them for life outside sports," said Tuwei.
The official said that after retiring, the athletes come
under a lot of pressure from the community, which sees them as
rich, where many want them to contribute to their personal or
communal well-being in one way or the other.
"If they retire without good preparation, the community can
abuse their generosity by turning the athletes into a cash cow,"
To prevent such an incidence from happening, AK organizes
seminars to instill in the athletes a mindset that will help
them during and after life in sports.
The association held such a seminar last December, which was
attended by over 200 elite athletes drawn from all parts of the
"We invited experts to talk to them on the subject of
investments because most of them earn a lot of money while still
young and need guidance on how to spend their hard-earned
money," said Tuwei.
He said the athletes face several challenges from a society
that praises them when they are winning races but forgets about
them once they fade from the limelight, where they grab
newspaper headlines like "from grace to grass".
"When retirement beckons, they start wondering what they will
be doing because they are used to a certain routine in life that
will soon come to an abrupt end," said Tuwei, adding that many
have sunk into depression and alcoholism upon retirement.