Muruto camp in Nandi is a training base like no other

A dusty, winding road off Mosoriot-Kabiyet road at the Kamoiywo in Nandi takes you to Muruto junior athletics training camp.

It is along this four kilometre road, which gets muddy whenever it rains, that junior athletes train every day during school holidays.

The camp, which was established in 2015, has been the training base for athletes in track events including 100m, 110m hurdles, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m and 10000m. They also train for field events including high jump and pole vault.

With nearly 30 athletes in the camp located in an area described as the source of champions owing to the numerous athletes the region has produced, Muruto has over the years proved to be a unique camp.

Secondary schools, with the interest of establishing formidable athletics teams, have catered for the junior athletes' fees as they seek to nurture the best talents.

For the last five years, the training camp’s coach and founder Andrew Kipkoech says parents have not paid school fees because they encourage secondary school principals to support the students complete their education.

Several athletes, Kipkoech says, will sit for their KCPE exams this year and already, some secondary schools have expressed interest in admitting them.

He says the junior athletes represent their schools in different competitions and their performance in athletics and academics has been impressive.

According to the coach, the camp is on a mission to support juniors from humble backgrounds by growing their careers while seeking to secure them full scholarship opportunities in secondary schools and colleges.

“Those who were expecting to sit for their national examinations in 2020 were to receive their admission letters last December had education not been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. We normally receive their admission letters as we break for Christmas and New Year festivities,” the coach says.

The annual Isaiah Kiplagat Memorial Ndalat Gaa cross country, which takes part in Nandi, was a perfect spot for athletes from the camp put their strength to test.

“I used to expose them to running opportunities in Ndalat Gaa, Tuskys and University of Eldoret cross country competitions where they offered a strong challenge to athletes from well established training camps,” he says.

According to Kipkoech, 2016 is was when the camp started mentoring the juniors through talks from elite athletes including former world 800m world champion Eunice Sum, Faith Chepngetich (former 1500m world champion) and 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech, among others.

posted Monday January 4th
by Stephen Rutto