President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday rewarded Team Kenya that took part in the recently concluded World Under-18 Championships with Sh 7.6million.
At the same time, the President also said that the government will also pay school fees besides issuing scholarships to all students in the team.
Kenyatta, who hosted the team for breakfast at State House, Nairobi, also offered them a four-day holiday treat at the Mombasa Beach Hotel starting Saturday.
World Under-18 800m gold medallist Jackline Wambui, who sought to have a personal chat with the President, got the best news when Kenyatta promised to pay her schools for the remainder of her studies.
Each of the 42 athletes and 32 officials will get Sh100,000.
The team will travel to Mombasa on the Madaraka Express train with the President requesting all the athletes to personally write down their experiences, right from during the championships, and after the Mombasa trip.
It was a moment of joy for the President, who received the flag from Team Captain David Saruni before the jubilant athletes mobbed the President, decorating him with all the medals they received.
The President then decorated each athlete with the medals.
Team Kenya finished fourth overall with 15 medals; four gold, seven silver and four bronze medals.
“We are proud of you regardless of the position since you put Kenya on the world map for a whole week, “Kenyatta said. “You brought together the whole world and thousands of Kenyans to celebrate the biggest athletics track and field championships in the region.”
Kenyatta, who was accompanied by Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario and State House Chief of Staff and Head of Civil Service, Joseph Kinyua, said he was overwhelmed by the congratulatory messages he received from across the world about how the championships was a major success.
Also present were the World Under-18 Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairman Jackson Tuwei and CEO Mwangi Muthee.
“I must tell you how proud I feel as a Kenyan. It was not about winning but participation and the ability that Kenya can host major championships,” said Kenyatta, who also congratulated the LOC and Team Kenya management for delivering.
“They delivered as they promised by putting on a wonderful world class event.”
Kenyatta said the youth have a great future in sports ahead of them, adding that he will ensure that they are comfortable not only when competing for Kenya but also in school.
Wario said that they will collect the details from the athletes and come up with a formula on how their school fees will be paid.