Kenya’s strength coach Kimani urges peers to innovate in virus times

Wednesday May 13 2020
By AYUMBA AYODI

Strength and conditioning coach Geoffrey Kimani has challenged his counterparts to stand up and be counted as world’s sporting arena battles to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Kimani said it was time for coaches across the disciplines to exhibit leadership and innovation as the national women’s volleyball team head coach, Paul Bitok talked about how he was helping his players adjust during this period of inactivity.

At the same time, Kenya Lionesses rugby player Sinaida Aura and national 100m record holder Mark Otieno shared their experiences and challenges as team sport and individual sport players respectively.

MAINTAINING FITNESS

The sportsmen and woman were speaking during the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) online conference on Friday. The discussion, moderated by sports journalist Lyn Wachira, was engaged under the topic “Maintaining fitness through the pandemic for the elite athletes.”

Kimani said the Covid-19 pandemic might have caught the world of sports off guard but coaches needed to take control and to help athletes through planning, profiling and bio motor abilities.

“Coaches are well equipped with what to do at this moment hence the need to show leadership for their athletes,” said Kimani, who has been engaged by Nock as a strength and conditioning consultant.

PHILOSOPHY

“This is the time for coaches, depending on their philosophy, to better the skills of their athletes.”

Kimani also advised coaches not to push their athletes with intense training noting that the season is somewhat over.

“Many sportsmen and women are scared of losing their speed and strength. It has been tough especially for team sport athletes,” said Kimani. “But I would also like to encourage athletes to have fun and enjoy themselves while training.”

Otieno, who holds the national 100m record time of 10.14 seconds said that it was not so tough for him with his event involving individualised training.

“I am just staying focused and trying to work on my weakness,” Otieno said. “I have to be mentally strong and I draw motivation from seeing other athletes train during this challenging time.”