NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – Athletes have been advised to consider a realistic transitional plan in a bid to shore up their fortunes after retirement from sport.
National Olympic Committee of Kenya Treasure Eliud Kariuki speaking during the Athletes Workshop said: “It would be of great joy for me to see our athletes do well in life beyond their sporting glory days.’’
All has not been well with some athletes after distinguished service to the nation at international level.
Several athletes have continued to languish in oblivion despite their great contribution to sport.
On Monday, the NOC-K commenced a two-day athlete’s workshop at Kenyatta University Conference Centre.
The workshop is to enlighten and empower athletes to ensure their viewpoints remain at the heart of decision making, which is the main mandate of the Athletes Commission.
About 50 athletes from NOC-K affiliates are in attendance.
While opening the workshop, commitment to athletes’ well-being dominated the remarks by the NOC-K Executive Board.
NOC-K Second Deputy President, Waithaka Kioni noted that “safeguarding of athletes is a big priority of the Executive and the Olympic Movement in this quadrennial.
“This is the reason we have got into a partnership with Chiromo Hospital Group to provide mental health training, awareness and support to athletes. We’d like our athletes to be as mentally fit as they are physically fit.”
Kariuki on his part encouraged athletes that NOC-K greatly supports career transition.
“Have a transition plan as an athlete. It would be of great joy for me to see our athletes do well in life beyond their sporting glory days,” the NOC-K treasuer remarked.
NOC-K Athletes Representative and Chairman of the Athletes Commission, Humphrey Kayange took athletes through the topic “Athletes at the center of the Olympic movement”.
He shared initiatives and programs within the Olympic movement to support athletes.
Some of these include the Career Training, Athlete 365 program, Safeguarding programs and World Olympians Association.
In addition to Olympic Solidarity programs including scholarships for athletes which has benefited some athletes in Kenya and where more will benefit heading to Paris 2024.
Kayange elaborated extensively on Athlete 365 Post Career Planning (Career +).
“This is an IOC program which supports athletes while preparing for career transition. The Career+ provides athletes with the resources and training required to develop life skills, maximize education and employment opportunities.”
“We encourage all athletes to subscribe to the Athlete 365 online platform which offers a lot of free training resources, and pass this information to your teammates.”
Clean sports is another important topic that the Athletes Commission is prioritizing in any and all athletes’ forums.
The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) took the athletes through clean sports in the day one program where Charles Omondi and Dr. Festus Kiplamai made the athletes aware on the anti-doping rules, criteria for doing tests as well as the importance of knowing what the agency’s mandate is in as far as sports in Kenya is concerned.
The second day of the workshop will be on matters affecting the athletes in their careers; personal branding, personal finances, mental health and contracts.