The youth department is a pivotal player in ensuring Kenya maintains its reputation as an athletics powerhouse through a constant stream of world-class runners and field athletes. The department’s core objective is to identify the future stars of world athletics, provide them with the resources to realise their potential and oversee their seamless transition to the senior ranks.
To achieve this objective, it works closely with various stakeholders in the sports industry including institutions and regions, the government via the Ministries of sports and education n, the corporate sector and primary as well as secondary schools. Some of the activities to identify and nurture upcoming athletes include organizing and management of holiday training camps for youngsters, provision of training resources for athletes as well as organizing competitions for budding athletes to test themselves.
These activities are planned for and implemented by a youth sub-committee consisting of a chair, vice-chair, secretary general and the national team coach for the Under-20s. The sub-committee has been in charge of preparing Team Kenya for various international age-group competitions in which the country has enjoyed a lot of success. These include the 2018 and 2021 World Under 20 Championships in Tampere, Finland and Nairobi respectively as well as the World Under 18 Championship in Nairobi in 2017.
The efforts of the youth sub-committee have resulted in the emergence of phenomenal, young athletes who have gone on to enjoy great success at the highest level of athletics. Examples include double World and Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon, Commonwealth Games 2018 5000m bronze medalist Edward Zakayo, Commonwealth Games 3000m steeplechase champion Jackeline Chepkoech and Commonwealth Games 5000m champion Beatrice Chebet.