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Saturday, July 22, 2017

AK series get boost

Athletes at the starting point of a past Safaricom sponsored competition. /FILE
Athletes at the starting point of a past Safaricom sponsored competition. /FILE
The Safaricom Athletics Series, which is now in its fifth year, will be sponsored by the telecommunications firm to a tune of Sh65 million.
The amount includes direct cash sponsorship as well as marketing, event support and merchandise. the sponsorship was unveiled yesterday at the Michael Joseph Centre and will officially kick-start the AK calendar.
The athletics series will feature nine long distance races, three track and field events—bringing the total to 12 events this year.
Speaking during the launch, Safaricom director for regional sales and operations, Steve Okeyo, said the return of the series signified the company’s continued commitment to support the identification and nurturing of sporting talent across the country.
“We have seen the powerful role that sports plays in uniting Kenyans, uplifting families and creating careers. Many of the current generation of athletics stars have participated in the Safaricom Athletics Series, with the likes of Conseslus Kipruto and Nicholas Bett actually catapulting their careers through this event and going on to represent Kenya at the 2016 Olympics,” said Okeyo.
Safaricom will also sponsor the IAAF World Under-18 Championships trials in Nairobi from from July 12-16. Though not included in the series, the sponsorship will feed into its efforts by providing financial support in line with Safaricom’s continued investment in sports in Kenya.
“Our sponsorship of the IAAF World Under 18 Championships is testament to our belief in the wealth of sporting talent we have among our youth. Having experienced the power of bringing people together through sports, we’d like to see more stars being discovered through this sponsorship, as we work together with organisations such as Athletics Kenya and the Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya among others to ensure Kenya continues to be recognised as the home of champions,” Okeyo added.
One race, under the banner—Safaricom Athletics Series and the Safaricom Deaf Half Marathon—already took place in Meru last weekend, where Peter Toroitich and Juster Kwamesa took first place in the men’s and women’s 21km races respectively.
The next race on the calendar is the National Deaf Athletics Championships, which will take place in Uasin Gishu County on may 23-24.
AK president Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei, lauded the partnership with Safariom, saying it will go along way in boosting the athletics standards in Kenya.
In addition to the races, Safaricom will hold free medical camps organised and managed by the Safaricom Foundation and its partners, who will offer free medical consultation and treatment of minor ailments to residents of the areas toured by the series.

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