Athletics legend Tegla Loroupe pleads with corporates to help unearth more talents from ghettos

NAIROBI, Kenya, November 26 – Three-time world half marathon champion Tegla Loroupe believes the corporate sector is obligated to help unearth sports talents who hail from underprivileged communities.

Loroupe said these talents require financial backing to showcase their prowess at a national and international platform.

“We know that in such ghettos, we have very many sports talents…not only in athletics but also martial arts, such as taekwondo. Who can highlight such talents apart from the media as well as sponsors who can support them,” the two-time New York Marathon champion said.

After hanging her spikes, the 1999 World 10,000m bronze medalist has carved out a reputation for her initiatives to improve the welfare of the girl-child as well as using sports to foster peace among warring communities in various parts of the country.

Through her Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation, the three-time Rotterdam Marathon champion has for the past 20 years organised ‘peace marathons’ comprising warriors and nomadic groups from Kenya, Uganda and Sudan.

Loroupe was also the chef de mission for the refugee team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

She said she has come to the realisation that sports talents in informal settlements or ghettos have been likewise afflicted by conflict.

“We have been holding these races since 2003 and what we have come to realise that not only people from the pastoral communities have problems but also people from here in the slums,” Loroupe said.

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The 1999 Berlin Marathon champion was speaking on Sunday at the conclusion of the inaugural Lake Ol’Bolossat Half Marathon in Nyandarua County.

The men’s race was clinched by Enos Kales who clocked 1:06:15 in first place, ahead of Amos Mitei (1:06:43) and Nicholas Kiplimo (1:06:54) in second and third respectively.

Kales, the 2019 Paris 20km champion, said he had expected the race to be tough and was ready to battle with its rigours.

“The race was tough…as soon as it started, I knew it was going to be very competitive. I have been training well and I decided to come and test myself here knowing that it is my first time competing in it. To be honest, it is not all down to my effort but by the grace of God,” he said.

Winnie Jepkosgei was the winner of the women’s race, timing 1:14:39 as Vivian Jerotich (1:14:55) and Beatrice Chepkemoi (1:16:44) settled for second and third respectively.

Both victors went home Ksh 200,000 richer plus Neon Ultra Phones – all courtesy of telco giant Safaricom.  

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