World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge Wednesday launched a holiday mentorship camp in honour or former Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat with an appeal to upcoming athletes to strike a balance between education and athletics for a successful future.
Kipchoge is also an ambassador of the Ndalat Gaa Cross Country Championships held every year in Nandi County and started by the late Kiplagat.
The camp, which is highlighted by mentorship programmes for children aged six to 25 years, which was launched at Kiplagat’s Kapseret home in Uasin Gishu County, will accommodate 90 young athletes. Kipchoge said many young athletes have attempted short cuts to succeed in life, including using banned performance enhancing substances.
“We all need to come up and support one another to fight the doping monster which has ruined careers of many good athletes,” he said.
“As young athletes, just practice clean sport and you will always be shining at the top and save us the embarrassment."
Mathew Kisorio, who recovered from a doping ban and is currently among the top road runners, also said that the young generation should always practice clean sport.
"I have participated in many races after my comeback (from the doping ban) and I want to urge the young athletes to always work hard. You should desist from bad company and be focused on training and school work," urged Kisorio.
Betty Kiplagat, a daughter of the late Kiplagat, who is overseeing the mentorship programme, said that she is fulfilling her fathers’ dream of mentoring young athletes.
“My late father wanted to mentor young athletes and when he died, we saw it wise to fulfil his dream by mentoring the young ones,” she said.