This year’s edition of the annual ABC Bank Baringo Half Marathon took place on November 1st in Kabarnet town, Baringo County.
This is the second year the bank has organized the marathon as title sponsor. The marathon is our flagship Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, and seeks to identify and nurture young athletic talent with a view to produce the next generation of world champions.
Since we took up the title sponsorship, we have endeavoured to raise the event’s profile in various ways, including increased participation and the enduring impact among the immediate communities. This year we double the sponsorship kitty to Ksh. 10 million, to go to hosting the event and our Athletes Development Program.
We also boosted the prize purse; the first finishers, in both the men’s and women’s 21 kilometer categories, took home Ksh. 300,000 each, while winners in the six kilometer category for boys and girls pocketed Ks. 25,000.
This year we introduced a schools category that saw over 50 schools register teams of ten students for the 6 km cross country race. The winning team took to their school Ksh. 100,000.
The Athletes Development Program is a sustainability project that will enable us to deliver on the objective of producing world champions. Last year we selected a group of 12 promising young athletes, whom we placed in various athletics training camps in the North Rift region, under dedicated professional coaches to set them on the path to stardom.
Some have gone on to participate in different local and international races, and have recorded impressive performances. For instance, Hilary Kemboi competed in a race in Nigeria and scooped the gold medal in the 10,000 meters race. In August, Alfred Barkach participated in the East African Secondary Schools Championships and won the 10,000 meters race. Josphat Kiprop, another of our sponsored athletes, won the 21 kilometer race in this year’s Baringo Half Marathon. These success stories confirm the need for talent development. We are picking more athletes from this year’s marathon to join the Athletes Development Program.
Besides athletics training, we also offer life skills training to our athletes to make them all round successful people even off the track. We have trained them in investments and personal finance, success management, public speaking and handling media interviews, and managing sponsorship contracts.
ABC Bank used the opportunity to engage the Baringo County Government and other business people on possible areas of collaboration.