Over 150 Kenya elite athletes are set to benefit during a three-day Athletics Kenya (AK) Conference at the Safari Park Hotel, starting Thursday this week.
The conference will mainly focus on athletes’ career transition in the field of investments, finance management, health, social life and anti-doping.
The organising committee chairman, David Miano, said the conference is mandatory for all the invited athletes. “Even though the calendar has already started, it’s very important for all the runners who have plans in 2019,” said Miano.
Miano said that the Conference will replace the annual Athletics Kenya Golden Gala. “We have opted for the conference since we have had to deal with too many negative cases and it’s important to have our athletes back in class in a bid to light their way,” explained Miano.
Miano said that they have realised that the big elephant in the house is not doping but other vices that have ruined athletes’ lives like bad management of resources and alcoholism.
He said the conference will feature key topics and it is important that all those invited attend so that they can plan their season properly.
“Topics to be discussed include career development, sports and education, taxation, investment, travel and visa, retirement, legal and contractual agreements and self-branding,” said Miano.
Among the elite runners expected to attend the three-day conference include world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, four-time New York marathon champion Mary Keitany, two-time Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha, three-time world half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, London marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot and World and Commonwealth Games 1,500m champion Elijah Manang’oi.
Also expected are world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri, world 1,500m silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot, former world javelin champion, Julius Yego, world and Olympic 3,000m champion Conseslus Kipruto and Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Chepngetich among others.
Among the key speakers will be former Olympic 3000 meters steeplechase silver medallist, Patrick Sang, who coaches Kipchoge and Kamworor among others, Prof. Mike Boit, who is a former Olympic 800m bronze medallist, representatives from the Kenya Doctors Network, and Athletics and Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) among others.
There will be key presentations from the Athletic Integrity Unit (AIU) in light of the recent doping menace that has blighted the country’s athletic performance in the recent past.