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The Athletics Kenya (AK) conference that has been going on in Nairobi this week has been an eye-opener. The athletes attending the sessions have had a chance to learn and go through experiences not only from colleagues but professionals in various fields. We hope this make a difference in their careers.

In fact, if more of such seminars were conducted frequently and across the country, then perhaps the doping scourge and lack of planning by athletes during and after their running careers could be a thing of the past.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games champion Wilfred Bungei moved participants with his life experience on how alcohol almost ruined him upon retiring in 2010 before he went through rehabilitation.

Long distance runner Matthew Kisorio, who was banned for doping, talked about how he managed to go through the frustrations and ridicule of the accusation.

The participants were taught about investments, finance management, health and anti-doping to how they can manage their social life from among others renowned coach Patrick Sang and Prof Mike Boit, Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya, Athletes Integrity Unit, Retirement Benefit Authority.

From the sessions, it is quite clear that besides doping, many athletes are going through other social challenges such as alcoholism, financial mismanagement and reckless lifestyles. Many end up as paupers and die miserably.

Sportsmen and women need the right skills and tools to help them manage their resources that will intimately benefit them when they transmit to life after sports.

We hope that after the conference, Athletics Kenya, and other federations, will look into all other issues affecting sportsmen and women and help them through counselling.

Other sports federations should also take cue and educate their sportsmen and women. More so, such seminars should also be taken to the grass roots to benefit others.