THE NEXT GENERATION ATHLETES VISIT TO THE UK
The four children who had won the 2005 Lewa Safaricom mini marathon left for London for a five days visit on the 25th April 2006.This was a prize that was awarded to them by Unilever (UK)and British Airways through the British High Commission office in Nairobi. This trip had been organized by the High Commission as part of a partnership between Kenya and the UK to support the next generation of athletes. Mr.Arnold Rapango from the Lewa education office accompanied the children.
While in the UK the children were hosted by two host families who live in East London. The children had a wonderful time whereby they visited the two different elementary schools that the host children go. While at school they engaged in different learning and sporting activities. They attended two science lessons and played football with school teams. Mr.Arnold visited the Kidbooke School where he met the teachers and pupils and shared with them the education system in Kenya as compared to the one in the UK. The day prior to the London marathon event, the children participated in a training session with the Cambridge Harriers junior team which had some of its members participating in the London mini marathon. They also had a chance of visiting the Marathon exhibition where they saw different sports equipment and charity organizations which were to participate in the event. They were also given a brief on the direct of the marathon route by the marathon organizers.
The children were put to compete in a higher age category than their own and they managed to perform very well in their race. They managed a good time of below 17 minutes to complete the 5 km route as compared to the time they took in the Lewa Safaricom marathon which was above 20 minutes. They had chance of interacting with great marathon runners in the world. Some of them included Haile GabreSellasie, Evans Ruto, Susan Chepkemei, Felix limo and Paul Tergat who is the world record holder. The children were so motivated by the presence of the many Kenyan runners in the marathon and more so Mr. Paul Tergat who flagged off in the mini marathon race.
The young children proved that they have the talent of running in the marathons and that if this talent is nurtured to the maximum level they will be ones who will represent Kenya in the future international sporting events like the 2012 Olympic games that would be held in London.