• Nock president Paul Tergat said the athletes are drawn for schools all over the country but in future, the camps will be held over the school holidays in every County.
• Kayange said: “This is a rare opportunity. If I ever had this kind of training when I was your age, things would have been very different."
National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) intends to have an Elite Youth Camp every school holiday as part of their preparations for the 2022 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar, Senegal.
To set the ball rolling, 120 teenagers and pre-teen athletes have converged at Lukenya Academy for the inaugural Elite Youth Camp in readiness for Dakar, show.
The athletes are drawn from 13 sports disciplines including athletics, badminton, beach volleyball, basketball, cycling, handball, hockey (five aside), judo, rugby, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon and wrestling.
Nock president Paul Tergat said the athletes are drawn from schools all over the country. In future, Tergat said the camps will be held over the school holidays in every county.
Tergat, who officially launched the camp yesterday, urged the youthful athletes (aged between 12 and 15 years) to take advantage of the opportunity they have at the moment to hone their skills and lay strong foundations for their professional careers in sports.
“For me to achieve all that I have and be where I am, is because of the opportunities I had growing up. Though it may not have been the same as the opportunities coming your way now, I made the best out of them. Be teachable and inquisitive, you have the coaches at your disposal,” said Tergat, a five-time world cross country.
“Our job is to drive sports in the country and we’ll keep working with all sportsmen and women to attain high levels.”
The event is being steered by decorated former Kenya Sevens captain player and Athletes Representative at Nock Humphrey Kayange, rugby coaches Michael ‘Tank’ Otieno, Felix Ochieng, Geoffrey Kimani (athletics), Musa Otieno (football) and Rosemary Owino (tennis).
Kayange said: “This is a rare opportunity. If I ever had this kind of training when I was your age, things would have been very different. You have a wealth of coaches with you here and you have to make the best out of this camp.”
Nock acting secretary-general Francis Mutuku said the athletes are being prepared to represent the country at future Olympic Games.
“Next year during the Tokyo Olympic Games, most of you will be watching the proceedings on television. Here and now, we are preparing you to compete at the same platform in the future. If you embrace the values of friendship, respect and excellence, your career as a sportsman or woman will flourish,” said Mutuku, who is also the vice president of Tennis Kenya. The Camp will conclude on December 7.