- The camp recedes the 10-day youth camp
- There are 30 coaches who have been trained
- The preparation is geared towards various youth tourneys this year
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya has concluded an Elite National Youth Coaches training in readiness to commence an ambitious Elite Youth Development Program for athletes ages 12-18 years that starts this week at Merishaw School in Isinya.
The camp is geared towards preparations for the various Youth Games scheduled for 2023; Zone (V) Africa Youth Games in March in Ethiopia, Africa Youth Games in April in Congo Brazzaville and Commonwealth Youth Games in August in Trinidad and Tobago.
NOC-K 2022-2024 Strategic Direction envisions a deliberate effort towards a Youth Development Program and is furnished for the road to the Maiden Olympics to be held in Africa come Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games.
The training which was officially opened by NOC-K Deputy Treasurer John Ogolla has a total of 30 coaches, (20 male and 10 female female) nominated through various federations, focuses on equipping coaches with knowledge on how to better handle, train and manage budding athletes.
The training is a multi-commissioned program with the Elite Development program, working closely with Youth Commission, NOC-K Institute and Medical Commission.
Importance of guidance and technical support
Speaking during the training, Elite Development Commission Chairman Benjamin Musa emphasized on importance of providing guidance and technical support to the coaches handling the youth teams
“As a Commission, we’ve planned appropriate training sessions and loads for the respective age group. The short-term plan is for the Camp while the long term is the 2023 busy calendar. We want to align with the Coaches training plans and ensure our expertise in Strength and Conditioning, nutrition and science is at their disposal.”
Benjamin, also explained the Youth Camp was catered specially to ensure junior athletes smooth transition into Senior Elite athletes.
“We lose many athletes to doping, low self-esteem and pressure to perform. We’re teaching the coaches on bringing athletes close and working closely with them without compromising growth. Not with the ‘winning at all cost’ mentality.”
Regina Gachora, the president Kenya Junior Golf and a member of the Elite Performance Commission spoke on ‘Keeping Elite Teenage Girls interested in Sports’
“We were all teenagers at some point, this is a special age-group. As Coaches, we are parents, role models and advisors. Let’s support our girls who are in the Youth Camp as they go through Puberty. Let’s encourage them and support their body transformation to ensure excellent performance.”
Physical activities of youth athletes
The last session saw strength and conditioning coach, Geoffrey Kimani talk about the guidelines of physical activity in regards to young athletes. Kimani reiterated on the importance of getting the building blocks and fundamentals of different sports by our coaches rather than focusing on the “train to win” mentality.
“We should not put pressure on our young athletes with the “train to win” mentality as coaches when we ought to be teaching the fundamentals of a particular sport. This is a development phase in an athlete’s career,” said the experienced coach, who also works with the national sevens team.
With this knowledge, the coaches are expected to smoothly run the 10-day Youth Camp.
NOC-K will officially launch the Camp on Wednesday, 11th January 2022 with the Ministry of Sports expected to grace the occasion.