Veteran Kenyan athletes have asked the government to consider paying them a monthly stipend as a way of appreciation their service to the nation and putting the country on the world map.
The former athletes led by Wilson Kiprugut said the country had forgotten them despite their exploits in the world of athletics in the early years of independence and after.
“We love Kenya and that is why we opted to remain patriotic to our country despite the little token we are given as motivation. Athletes have been doing very well and to stop them from switching the citizenship to other countries we must reward them,” Kiprugut said.
The 76-year-old Kiprugut said most retired athletes continued to live in poverty despite being world champion record holders. Young athletes need to be motivated if Kenya wants to continue being top in the world.
“We have very many energetic young Kenyans who can still change the face of the sport in the country but this can only be achieved if the government is committed to help them,” he added.
The former Kenya Defence Forces officer lamented that despite athletes preparing hard to participate in international events, some sports officials are busy frustrating them by even denying them tickets to the championship.
He asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure that athletes are well protected because they are the ones marketing Kenya to the rest of the world.