Athletes organise memorial run to honour Agnes Tirop

The 10km run will be organised by Tirop's Angels.

Slain Olympian and World Record holder Agnes Tirop was on Saturday 23 October 2021 laid to rest at her parent's home in Nandi County. PHOTO COURTESY: @MichKatami on Twitter

Family, friends and athletes though their foundation, Tirop’s Angels have organised a memorial run in honour of slain 10km World Record holder, Agnes Tirop.

In a bid to create awareness and take the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) to the community, Tirop’s Angels plans are underway to hold a 10km race and an awareness walk targeting the rift region with plans to expand in succeeding editions.

Tirop's Angels formed shortly after her death, is a foundation that aims to raise awareness of violence against women. Joan Chelimo, a personal friend of the late explained what the purpose of the foundation was.

“We meet weekly just to give our fellow athletes a safe space to share their experiences and any concerns they have as far as the matter is concerned.

For a long time, our athletes have kept these injustices to themselves because of how our society and our culture has normalized violence, especially against women.

People make jokes out of others who are being abused in their relationship and it becomes hard for the victims to speak out," said Chelimo.

The marathoner still reeling from the loss of her friend further broke down how tough and scary life has been since Tirop's death.

"Tirop’s murder was, however, a wake-up call. She was a jovial person, always had a smile on her face and no one could suspect the kind of injustice she was going through. Now we have athletes seeking help for similar situations,” said Chelimo.

In Kenya, the female population is most affected with 56% women and 36% girls reported cases of GBV. According to the Gender Violence and Recovery Centre (GVRC) one-in-three women has experienced an episode of sexual violence before attaining age 18.

“On top of the race and walk, we have support from the county and national government, shoe companies as well as other stakeholders and are embarking on a school program that will teach young runners how to deal with conflicts in relationships.

We are also educating women on their rights while educating the society on some cultural practices that normalize violence,” Chelimo concluded.

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