The cross-country season is always a good starting point for athletes in a long and grueling season in athletics. Many athletes in track and the road races use the cross-country races for speedwork, to gauge their preparedness for the season.
It is the same for world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri who has so far taken part in two cross country races, the women 10km race during the Kenya Defence Forces Championship, and the mixed relays during the national cross-country championship. Her main focus in 2021 is the Olympic games in Tokyo Japan where she will be going for gold to complete her impressive collection of medals.
“Olympics is very important for me because it is the only (gold) medal I’m missing in my career. So I’m going to prepare very well so that I can achieve that medal that is missing,” said Obiri.
“What we need to do is limit a lot of races because you can see we have like five months to prepare, so we need to focus on how to beat the Ethiopians and the rest of the world. It is a tough task for coaches to prepare their teams to be very very strong in the upcoming Olympics,” she added.
Preparation is key, and it requires good funding. That is why the Kenya Charity Sweepstakes got into a partnership with the National Olympic Committee of Kenya to raise funds for the Olympic bound teams.
Commenting on the partnership, Obiri said “The support from the Kenya Charity Sweepstakes is very good because there are many athletes who don’t have support or money during this COVID-19 season. This support is important for athletes to focus and prepare well and also to be mentally ready for the games.”
To raise the required funds, Kenya Charity Sweepstakes launched the lotto Bomba, where the public can buy lottery tickets from Kenya Charity Sweepstake for any amount between 50 shillings and 1000 shillings. For every ticket purchased, ten percent of the proceeds go to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya for the Olympic teams and athletes.
“We know Kenyans love sports, and that is why we are confident about this partnership with the National Olympic Committee of Kenya. We are happy to raise as much money as possible for team Kenya. So, the more Kenyans play by buying the tickets, the more they are contributing towards raising funds for their Olympians,” said Kenya Charity Sweepstakes CEO Yaron Farachi.
Lotto Bomba is not a short-term initiative, but will run all the way to the 2024 Olympic games in Paris France. The funds raised between now and 2024 will all go towards preparing athletes for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games as well as the 2024 Paris Olympic games.
“Kenya has the potential to win many more medals if the talents are well supported. If we support them well between now and 2024, we are sure of more medals for Kenya, and that is our objective. The beauty is that it will be Kenyans who will have contributed towards the athletes winning the medals, because of the Lotto Bomba tickets that they buy from the Kenya Charity Sweepstake,” added Yaron.
To kickstart the campaign, Kenya Charity Sweepstake already gave National Olympic Committee of Kenya 10 million shillings to start preparing the teams for Tokyo 2020. This money will assist the boxers who have already qualified and those going for the Olympic games qualifiers, the rugby men and women teams, the women volleyball team and any other athlete who will make it to the Olympics.