NOCK honors 2014 top performers, decries government discriminate support

By evelyn watta
Jun 06, 2021
  • Athletes pose with their trophies at the NOCK top achivers award ceremony held on Friday.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Coach David Letting with Mercy Cherono and Caleb Mwangangi.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Sports events are more than victory. More than the gold, silver or bronze medals. It’s not even about the records. This was apparent at the National Olympic Committee of Kenya,NOCK, awarding ceremony on Friday in Nairobi as they celebrated the achievements of the leading performers from the Commonwealth Games, Africa and Youth Games.

Commonwealth games track and field champions Caleb Ndiku, Mercy Cherono(5000m), Eunice Sum(800m)Faith Kipyegon,(1500m) Julius Yego(Javelin) shared the stage with Para-power lifter Joyce Wambui the bronze winner in Glasgow alongside boxer Benson Gicharu, martial arts probable medalists Judoka James Ganzo and Wrestler Peter Openda, a perfect celebration of talent and achievers.

There was a tear-jerking honour for fallen cyclist John Muya who died two months after competing in Scotland where impressed in both the individual and the road race events.

“This is a great honour for me especially as I am preparing for the world championships. My plan is to be on the podium in Beijing,” said Cherono.

Ndiku who is working on his form after recovering from a knee injury that has kept him off the Diamond League series was in his usual upbeat mood.

“My focus is on the world championships, its not lost on me that Bekele(Kenenisa) and Mo Farah have denied us the 5000m title. In my cabinet what I am missing is the world championships and Olympics title, I want more (Mo),”he said as he relished the guests at Safari Park, with his signature buffalo horn pose flexing his muscles.

Dr Kipchoge Keino promised to make the awards this round sponsored by Kenya Pipeline, an annual occasion in the NOC calendar.

“I hope we can be meeting every year to celebrate this great sportsmen and women,” said the president of the National Olympic body.

“Next year we have the Rio Olympics but this year we have to send the team to Commonwealth Youth games in Samoa. The budget for Rio is 300million shillings and I also need money to send the team to Samoa. We must expose our youth, we need the government’s help.”

“One thing the President may have been shy to mention is that the Ministry of Sports told us that they would not support us to send the team to Samoa, I hope they can review this decision,” Ben Ekumbo, 1st vice president of NOCK said his plea directed to the Government representatives present Fred Muteti, Chairman Sports Kenya and Nderitu Gikaria the National Sports Council head.

The government typically supports the national teams to various international events but has in recent past been criticized for its dwindling funding.

Junior gold medalists from African Youth track winners Gilbert Kwemoi and Rosefline Chepngetich, fast rising tennis star Ismael Changaywa and gold medal dunk winner Daryl Omondi.

Coaches Rose Naliaka and Patrick Waweru the national boxing team and the Netball and junior golf teams all who excelled in Botswana were also conferred.