Dawn breaks over the IHF centre in Nakuru. As the alarm rings I become aware of a gaggle of young male voices outside my window. Lurching blurry eyed to the door I get outside just in time to see a large group boys disappear at speed out of the front gate. Only on seeing Coach Juma at their head do I realise that this is part of their early morning football training.
Jogging in the centre of the pack with his upright, self-assured running style I see Nelson. Though he displays an indifference towards football that is rare in Kenya, Nelson loves to run and regularly competes in 3000 metre races. As well as being adept on a track, Nelson is also very conscientious when it comes to his secondary school studies and has a passion for writing both in English and Swahili. He has a confidence and maturity beyond his 16 years and aspires to become a sports journalist when he finishes school.
It is with great pride then that I later take Nelson into town to meet Alex Kiprotich, Nakuru Bureau Chief at Standard Media Group. Covering television, radio and print, Standard are one of the biggest media groups in Kenya and even I am slightly nervous to meet them. Any trepidation soon fades however as we are met with warm smiles and enthusiasm. Nelson acquits himself admirably and I leave him chatting to Alex and his colleague Ben Ahenda, a local sports writer.
Nelson returns to the centre later with a spring in his step and a huge grin on his face. Evidently the afternoon went extremely well and he has been invited to join Ben the next time he visits a sporting event. This is a fantastic opportunity and one which Nelson has taken full advantage of…. or in more appropriate terms: in a game of two halves he stepped up to the plate, gave 110% and slam dunked it! Well done mate!!
Congratulations to Nelson who managed to gain work experience at Standard Media Group this week. Nelson will now be spending his weekends visiting sporting events around the county and learning from one of their top sports writers. Covering television, radio and print, Standard are one of the biggest media houses in Kenya so we are all very proud of him. It is really great to see all his hard work pay off. Well done mate!
Richard Hacking, Co-Director, IHF Kenya