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This is what athletes need

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The decision by Athletics Kenya (AK) to convene a three-day athletes’ conference from Thursday in Nairobi is laudable.

More than 150 athletes will be addressed by experts from various fields, including International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), who will delve into investment, finance management, health, anti-doping and social life.

Arguably, the focus over the years has mainly been on the doping scourge and never career transition. Many athletes, who have earned millions of shillings from track and road running, have ended up as paupers due to lack of proper planning.

Some have raced up the path of career destruction through alcoholism and other vices. In fact, many athletes are now battling to quit the vice and not the feared doping menace. Many quit school just to focus on athletics, ending up with little knowledge on how to manage their finances.

It goes without saying that sportsmen and women need the right skills and tools to manage their resources and benefit from them after sports.

The conference comes sevens month after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Carrier Transition workshop that was held in Nairobi with athletes from across the various disciplines taking part.

The workshop was conducted by retired Malian international basketball star Kadiatou Tounkara, who noted that most sportsmen and women end up squandering their huge fortunes and fame gained from sports due to lack of knowledge.

Other sports federations should also take the cue and educate their sportsmen and women. Such seminars should also be taken to the grass roots to benefit more.

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