MBALE – World and Olympic Champion, Joshua Cheptegei has offered 60 education scholarships to vulnerable but talented athletes in the Sebei sub region.
The athlete awarded the tokens during the 5th edition of the annual Christmas run in Kapchorwa on Saturday, through the Joshua Cheptegei Development Foundation, which started in 2015 with the purpose of transform communities through sport.
Sebei Sub-region is one of the communities that have produced some of Uganda’s greatest athletes in the recent past. However, it is still struggling with a string of challenges, including poverty, Gender-Based Violence, early marriages, teenage pregnancies, high levels of school dropouts and female genital mutilation.
Under the Initiative, Chepptegei said he wanted to encourage girls to stay in school, establish schools, and establish a sports academy, which will be used to nurture talent. He revealed that the first round of scholarships, totalling to 45 would be awarded to learners on the basis of educational needs, particularly in Primary Schools while 14 would benefit the secondary category.
Cheptegei stressed that the project was in line with his mission of empowering vulnerable but potential athletes to realise their dreams and become responsible citizens. He explained that the foundation had witnessed more frequent talents mushrooming annually.
Geoffrey Chebengat, one of the parents, whose otwo children benefited through the primary school scholarships called on other excelling athletes to emulate Cheptegei’s desire to empower communities in the fields of education and sport.
Cedric Solomon, one of the beneficiaries of the scholarships promised to utilize the opportunity to achieve the best – both an athlete as well academician. Solomon, who completed the Primary school cycle more than a year ago, had failed to continue with his studies due to lack of school fees.
Uganda Athletics Federation vice President, Benjamin Njia noted that his governing body was encouraging runners to emphasize excelling in both academics and sport.
Additional reporting by URN