Thirty-four students in Elgeyo Marakwet County have been picked for the Pepea Athletics Scholarship programme to study in universities based in the United States of America (USA).
The trials, held at Tambach Teachers College, saw another 23 athletes in the waiting list should their timings be ratified by the organizers.
The athletes, drawn from various parts of the county, participated in 800, 3,000, and 5,000 metre races to attain qualifying time in both men’s and women’s categories.
This is part of the county’s student airlift programme initiated to explore learning and work opportunities overseas.
According to county officials, 48 students have benefited from the programme and are already enrolled in schools in the USA, Canada and Australia.
Speaking during the event, Governor Wisley Rotich congratulated the students saying that the county administration is committed to uplifting students by tapping into their talents for opportunities beyond the borders.
“This is an opportunity for deserving athletes. I would like to congratulate those who qualified for the uplift programme. Those who didn’t meet the mark should continue training because another opportunity will come in April,” he remarked.
Wilson Chepkwony, one the Coaches leading the selection exercise, said that the students will be placed in different universities and colleges depending on their academic qualifications, age and time posted.
“It will be a full scholarship. No one will pay anything. I challenge all those with good grades and can be able to run to train harder. There are opportunities in the US,” he said.
Betty Kipkore, one of the athletes, thanked the county government for coming up with the scholarship programme.
“It has been my dream to shine in athletics, but the thought of going through a scholarship has never crossed my mind,”
More than 240 athletes participated in the trials.
By Philemon Kiprop
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