A colourful appreciation gala was hosted on Friday, October 1 by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) to recognize all the athletes who took part in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
Pomp and colour at Olympians gala in Nairobi
The gala was held to appreciate the effort made by the Olympians.
The event was attended by all the members of the six sports federations that sent athletes to Tokyo; Athletics, Volleyball, Boxing, Rugby, Swimming and Taekwondo. At the Games, Team Kenya bagged a total of 10 medals (4 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze).
The first athlete to speak at the gala was none other than Kenya 7s legend, Collins Injera who is placed second for number of tries scored on the World Rugby Sevens Series with 271.
Injera thanked the government through the ministry of sports and NOC-K for the support they gave the athletes in the Games.
“On behalf of the athletes, I thank the Ministry of Sports, NOC-K, sponsors EABL. It was a difficult time preparing for the Olympics owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, but everything was made possible from the early training camp.
We were given all the kits that we needed both training and competition and we appreciate a lot,” Injera said.
The gala was preceded over by a seminar to engage athletes on various aspects of life including financial management, cycle social and career management conducted by Ann Joy Michira, the Head of Marketing Beer EABL, Bob Kalili, a corporate training consultant and Susan Wanjiku, a finance and investment professional.
“Today’s session especially about investment was an eye opener to athletes who are thinking of retiring when the time comes like myself, this will help us transit smoothly,” remarked Injera.
Injera's sentiments were echoed by Malkia Strikers skipper Mercy Moim who challenged ladies to take up leadership positions when they retire from the sport.
“I thank the government for sponsoring and facilitating us from training up to the Olympics, I thank the NOC-K office for giving us what we wanted like kit, and enabling us to compete at the Olympics, we have never had such an ample preparation before and we don’t take it for granted,” Moim, said.
“On behalf of the ladies who competed at the Olympics, we are grateful that we made it and did our best, we were many than men and we did well, I challenge them to continue with the same momentum,” she added.
NOC-K boss Paul Tergat congratulated all the Olympians and called on more corporate sponsors to join them so as to continue serving the athletes better.
“I appreciate everyone especially our athletes for making this possible. From when the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed, these athletes have braved a difficult time owing to the COVID-19 to train well during preparations,” Tergat said.
“As a leader of this team, we were at the edge and sometimes we didn’t know we could have this games but in the end we had them and ended well. I was crossing fingers that the Covid-19 test the athletes were subjected every day, no one from Team Kenya tested positive.”
“I thank the athletes for the discipline they displayed at the Olympics. We are here to celebrate the achievements of our athletes against over 200 counties globally, we were able to match victories and we walked tall in Africa,” Tergat stated.