•Ndigiti hopes upcoming athletes will also benefit from the Sh50 million Athletics Kenya received from World Athletics to cushion athletes from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
•World Athletics President Sebastian Coe told CGTN Africa that the World U-20 Championship will be held in Nairobi adding that they are struggling to get a date for the event.
Africa 10, 000m Under-20 race walk champion Dominic Ndigiti has resorted to working in construction sites and making energy-saving jikos to make ends meet.
“I decided to start making the jikos and working at construction sites to make ends meet. My life revolves around athletics but following the interruption of sports by the coronavirus, we have to find ways of surviving,” said Ndigiti.
The 19-year-old Ndigiti, who is also the World Under-18 bronze medallist added: “I make Sh300 daily from the construction sites in Kisii and Nyamira counties. The stoves earn me from Sh1, 500 to Sh3, 000 which is not bad for a day’s work. I started making jikos when I was young— before I even venture in athletics.”
He makes semi-permanent and permanent jikos which use firewood, charcoal and sawdust.
“These are energy-saving jikos which will go a long way in saving our forests from depletion,” revealed Ndigiti who finished his 'O' level studies from Kiendiege High School in Nyamira. At construction sites, he works as a casual labourer. He, however, said he has not abandoned athletics.
“I wake up early in the morning to train before going to make jikos or work at a construction site. Athletics is my lifeline and I’m looking forward to getting back to the track or road once the coronavirus pandemic is contained. In my training, I focus on fitness and endurance because I want to take part in next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, Japan,” he said in a phone interview.
Ndigiti hopes upcoming athletes will also benefit from the Sh50 million Athletics Kenya received from World Athletics to cushion athletes from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
“They should also consider upcoming athletes. Some of us are the sole breadwinners in our families,” he added. Ndigiti, who was the first runner up during the Soya Award in the most promising boy category ruled out participating in the World Under-20 championships.
“The event was supposed to be held in Nairobi in July but was indefinitely postponed by World Athletics. This was supposed to be my last event as a junior but I will not be able to take part because, after July, I will not qualify due to age,” he added.
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe told CGTN Africa that the World U-20 Championship will be held in Nairobi adding that they are struggling to get a date for the event.