Kenya’s squad to the Olympic Games that run in Tokyo on July 23-August 8 will comprise the highest number of females ever to take part at multi-sport bonanza.
Yesterday, women teams for volleyball (Malkia Strikers), rugby sevens (Lionesses) and boxing attended a workshop organised by a group calling itself ‘women Olympic team stakeholders’ where they were taken through a number of issues relating Team Kenya at a Nairobi hotel.
The facilitators included Rose Wacuka, the policy advisor and Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, Ann Michira, the head of marketing for beers at East African Breweries Limited, Parvi Rawel, the women’s representative at the National Olympic Committee-Kenya and Sabrina Simader, the first Kenyan skier to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
They took pride in Team Kenya to Tokyo Olympics, which women comprise 57 per cent -the highest in Kenya’s Olympic history.
Mercy Moim, the Malkia Strikers captain, said she was grateful to lead the national volleyball team which boasts more women.
“We expect a good outing. We will inspire, cheer up each other and ensure we perform well. We will not disappoint Kenyans,” she said.
The athletes were taken through issues on branding, use of social media, self discipline and how to attract sponsorships as well as endorsements.
Malkia Strikers return to the Olympic Games after 17 years (Athens Olympic Games in 2004) while the Lionesses and the boxing teams will make their maiden appearance at the Olympics.
World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, world marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto, London Marathon runner up Vincent Kipchumba and Boston Marathon winner Lawrence Cherono will lead the men’s onslaught in Tokyo.
World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei, 2020 Valencia Marathon winner Peres Jepchirchir, world marathon champion Ruth Chepngétich and 2018 London Marathon winner Vivian Cheruiyot will fly the women’s flag.
The athletes train in Kaptagat, Kapsabet and Kapsait in Elgeyo Marakwet.
East African Breweries are the official sponsors of Team Kenya.
Meanwhile, the countdown clock for the Tokyo Olympics hit 50-days-to-go yesterday, and the day also brought another problem for the delayed games.
About 10,000 of 80,000 unpaid volunteers for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have told organizers they will not participate when the games open on July 23.
Organizers said some dropped out because of worries about Covid-19.