Athletics Kenya (AK) has started the process of forming an athletes’ welfare body, AK president Jackson Tuwei disclosed on Thursday.
Tuwei noted that after intensive research and analysis based on pension, endowment fund, insurance and cooperative societies (Saccos), it was a high time the athletes had a body to take care of these needs.
However, Tuwei said that the idea of forming the welfare body will be flouted to the athletes during the ongoing Athletics Conference at Sirikwa Hotel, Eldoret.
“Besides the various topics to be discussed with the athletes, we have set aside a special session to introduce them to this idea and hopefully we shall come up with resolutions on how we can assist them in terms of welfare in the end,” said Tuwei.
“We must start something that will assist these athletes now and in the future.”
While AK has taken up the responsibility, Tuwei said it’s the athletes’ involvement that will make the whole venture a success, hence team work will be greatly needed.
“Athletics Kenya shall be the first to contribute to the welfare and we shall also request the government and other well-wishers to invest in the welfare too so that,” explained Tuwei, during day two of the seminar where athletes went through team building, investment and retirement, taxation and media and athletes relations.
Among the facilitators were Ali Mazoa, who handled the team building exercises and talk, CPF Group finance manager Joshua Moilo and director of operations and marketing George Okioma, who handled investment and retirement.
Others were Stanley Nandwa, who took the athletes through taxation and filing returns and veteran journalist Evelyne Watta, who handled media and athletes relations.
Over 170 athletes attended Thursday’s session while 108 road running athletes drawn from Kenya and Uganda attended the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) education program on Wednesday.
“Athletes facing certain challenges in filing tax returns and contracts but they are now more informed so as to avoid issues of double taxation. We hope to have minimal cases or none on contracts,” said Tuwei.
Tuwei said that AK has free legal services to athletes who require guidance on contracts.
“Most athletes have had trouble especially with their management after they signed contracts they didn’t understand,” explained Tuwei.
Moilo emphasised on the importance of saving early and sound financial planning, besides introducing athletes to other products to do with pension, general insurance and medical insurance among others.
The official opening ceremony will be held on Frida and will be graced by Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohammed, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago among others.