NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has begun a two-day coaches online training in readiness to commence an ambitious Elite Youth Development Program that starts with a camp April 4 at Kenyatta University, Ruiru Campus.
The online training was officially opened by NOC-K President, Paul Tergat.
Serving in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Dakar 2026 Youth Olympics Coordination (YOG) Commission tasked with overseeing the planning of the 2026 Dakar Youth Olympic Games, Tergat put emphasis on the importance of the youth development program as Kenya prepares for 2026 event and the Africa Youth Games later in the year.
“Today’s training targets youth coaches aims to ensure you’re aligned and adequately prepared to deliver your services during next week’s Youth Camp,” Tergat said.
He added, “Indeed, our NOC-K 2022-2024 Strategic Direction envisions a deliberate effort towards a Youth Development Program, geared on the road to the next round of African Games, Paris 2024 Olympics and equally, the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games.”
The training which has a total of 36 coaches, female and male nominated through various federations, focuses on equipping coaches with knowledge on how to better handle, train and manage budding athletes.
The training is a multi-commissioned program with the Elite Development program, working closely with Youth Commission, NOC-K Institute and Medical Commission.
Local and international experts have also been invited to ensure proper training which is a process towards technical and general areas being improved. With this knowledge, the coaches are expected to smoothly run the 14-day Youth Camp.
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya is keen on having one youth camp during each school holiday in order to ensure continuity.
The Elite Youth Development Program is a part of the overall NOC-K legacy strategy.
It not only focuses on the Youth Olympics but also the general development of athletes and elevation of sporting standards in Kenya.
NOC-K intends to develop an all-round athlete who is good at sport and in life outside sport.
Day one of the training saw the coaches get insights on the basics of being a youth coach by experienced hockey coach, Michael Malungu, who was the coach in the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The second session saw strength and conditioning coach, Geoffrey Kimani talked about the guidelines of physical activity in regards to young athletes.
Kimani reiterated on the importance of getting the building blocks and fundamentals of different sports by our coaches rather than focusing on the “train to win” mentality.
“We should not put pressure on our young athletes with the “train to win” mentality as coaches when we ought to be teaching the fundamentals of a particular sport. This is a development phase in an athlete’s career,” Kimani said.
The second day of the program will have Sports Scientist Rosemary Owino take the coaches through youth physical development and nutrition, diet and hydration by Susan Gesare while injury prevention will be facilitated by Altaf Mapara.
The coaches will report to camp on Monday April 4 before the athletes of ages 12-18 years join camp. NOC-K will officially launch the Camp next week.