Former world marathon holder and Professional Athletes Association of Kenya (PAAK) President Wilson Kipsang has challenged athletes to go back to class to further their education to reduce illiteracy to help them have knowledge when they still have time and money.
This comes at a time when many athletes are swindled off their cash after shipping in billions from European nations.
Speaking at Muskut primary school ground, Kipsang advised athletes to take and value education and enroll for classes when there is still time.
The two time London marathon champion who graduated on Saturday with Bachelors’ Degree in in Criminology and Security Studies from Mt. Kenya University, said in his welcoming speech.
“Many of our athletes at about 99% ventured into athletics in order to change their livelihoods and those of their families. And due to lack of fees because many of them came from a humble background, they dropped out of school,” said Kipsang.
He said lack of fees played a big role in drop outs, food and other basic needs chased many athletes from home into athletics because it was the only way to get out of poverty.
“We dropped out of school for many reasons but most of us after getting money, we have never bothered going back to school. That is wrong,” said the former Olympic marathon silver medalist.
He said the athletes woke up to a windfall forgetting that education is important in their lives.
“You have the ability to pay for your school fees now and you should think of going back to school. An athlete can retire but it is good to have education that will benefit you after hanging your spikes,” Kipsang said.
He is not yet done since he will enroll for masters next year to further his education.
“I will not stop here but after my masters degree I will also pursue Phd,” Kipsang who placed second at this year’s Berlin Marathon missing a world mark by 13 seconds said.
Kipsang represents the complete current generation of athletes who went out of his way to seek education accepting to stay for hours in class in search of knowledge.
“I also wanted to be an example to athlete so that when I encourage them to take education seriously, they will see it in me.I feel proud today after getting my first degree,” added Kipsang.