Athletics talent search in Samburu
Samburu county government has begun the search of talented youths who will represent the county in national and international athletics competitions.
Speaking on Saturday after the official opening of this year’s 28th Maralal International Camel Derby, County Director of Sports, Mathew Lesiyampe said that his office is taking advantage of the various sports disciplines that will take place during the three day event to spot athletic talents in the county.
Lesiyampe said the county has alot of talented youths who need exposure and sponsorship to achieve greatness.
He added that the county government is already sponsoring the training of six athletes from the county in Iten in preparations for inter county athletics competition.
“My office has sponsored six youths for an athletic training exercise in Iten,” he said adding that athletics training ground has been built at Loosuk area in Samburu central sub county where athletes will be training.
However, youths interested in athletics competition have complained of lack of enough support from the county government.
Samson Lemayian, an athlete said lack of commitment from the county government has killed moral of many youths in the region from embracing athletics competition as a sport event despite their talents.
“Youths in this county are talented to run but their potential is yet to be seen due to lack of support and recognition of athletics as a sporting activity,” he said.
Unlike in Samburu County, Lemayian said an increased number of youths in Uasin Gishu County are earning good income from their talents.
“Athletics is a very important sport activity. We have seen youths from Eldoret invest in houses using an income from their talents. We would like to follow suit in this county,” he said.
However, this year’s camel derby is experiencing low turnout from local and international camel racers unlike in previous years.
“This year only nine local amateur racers registered to take part in the derby. Not a single international participant has registered.” said Samuel Leseeto a county government official.
Leseeto blamed the low turnout on the current political climate in the country which is keeping tourists at bay.
By Robert Githu