The 2014 Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion Mercy Cherono has urged Athletics Kenya to increase the number of coaches in the South Rift region, which is known for producing up to 60 per cent of junior athletes during the global events.
During the AK National Consultative Forum in Kericho, Cherono said that male coaches dominate the field but a high number of female athletes originate from the region.
“We have great talent in this region and if you follow the history, a good number of junior athletes hail from this region but most of the coaches who assist them are male. The federation should employ more women coaches because girls have many issues and it’s hard for them to air them out because they have a male coach,” said Cherono.
She further asked athletes to be focused and concentrate on their training saying it will eradicate a lot of problems and one will be respected by the society.
Cherono advised athletes, especially women, to always involve parents in their careers to help them steer clear of issues bedeviling them along the way.
“As athletes we need to fear God, respect your parents, be focused and respect your coach. All these go together and those who are suffering should always come out and talk because there is no need to bury yourself in problems and end up dying,” she said.
Her sentiments were backed up by Caroline Kilel, a marathoner, who said families should always come together, discuss marital problems and find solutions without fighting.
“I have been in the sport for a long time and married at the same time. We need to be disciplined and avoid bad company and have the right coaches who will be able to train upcoming athletes which in the end must bring good results,” Kilel said.
AK Youth Development director Barnaba Korir said athletes should always think out of the box and invest wisely.
“Life span of athletics is short nowadays and athletes need to use their money wisely and avoid bad company. We have a lot of athletes who are now drinking heavily and we need to make them aware that they are heading in the wrong direction and need to change and such forums will open their eyes,” Korir said.
He added that the federation will look into affairs of the coaches, which have been brought forward since last week when the forums started in Ngong, Kajiado County.
The next forum shall be held in Keringet, Nakuru County before taking a break until next week.