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Think of life after sports, Ex Mali basketball star tells Kenyan sportsmen

Athletes who attended the two-day workshop
  • Kadi Kanoute is a facilitator of the Athlete 365 program
  • She is a former Mali basketballer and an Olympian
  • She spoke during the NOCK Athletes Workshop

Kenyan athletes have been urged to think of life after sports early enough, to save them from the shame of stretching their begging bowls when they are advanced in age and no longer active in their respective fields.

Kadi Kanoute, a facilitator with the Athlete 365 program spoke to athletes across various discipline on the final day of their two-day workshop organized by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK).

The workshop was aimed at empowering and enlightening athletes to ensure their viewpoints remain at the heart of decision making.

This is a program run by the International Olympic Committee to ensure athletes power up their future through rising after sports life. It focuses on strengths, impact and purpose of what athletes could become after sports.

Wasn’t lucky enough

Kadi Kanoute poses for photos with other athletes

“I wasn’t lucky enough to know what a life span of an athlete would look like and so when I retired, it was hard. In my 30s I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t even wear a suit. I decided to focus on Africa and show our athletes back home how much of an opportunity there is when you plan and invest in your sporting life for your life after sports,” Kanoute said.

Kenyan sportsmen have had it rough after they retire, with most leaving the trappings of good earnings without a proper plan on how their lives will continue after their money from sports stops flowing.

Kanoute is a former Mali Basketball player and an Olympian in the 2008 Olympics. WADA Education Committee Chair, Master Trainer and Steering Committee member – IOC Career+ Program with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management.

She took the Kenyan athletes through different ways they can plan on their future and maximize on their active days in sports.

NOC-K President  Paul Tergat encouraged the athletes to take the opportunity and start planning for their career transition.

Sports window is small

Athletes follow proceedings at the Workshop

“The sports window is so small; an injury could make you never compete again. This generation is so lucky to have such forums, some of my colleagues retired and didn’t know what to do next. Take control of your future.”

NOC-K Athletes Representative and Chairman of the Athletes Commission, Humphrey Kayange spoke on transition from sporting careers to normal life .

“We’ve had an empowerment session on how they can move forward and the traits as well as practices that they can carry forward after their active days. The session we have had this year we believe is very important and we look forward to the impact it will make in the future.”

“This is a great forum for me, it’s been so informative and innovative, I can’t wait to go and share with my colleagues. I’m currently studying and playing Rugby at the same time so I’m glad this forum has opened my eyes further into which direction I can move,” said Kenya Sevens star Vincent Onyala.

His sentiments were shared by Commonwealth Games 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala who said the workshop was important in shaping their futures.

“Career transition is something that will happen to every athlete – no-one’s sporting career can go on forever, although I haven’t really planned for that, I also have a huge responsibility to play for the youths. They look up to me,” he said.

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