Left Menu
Development News Edition

Gym closures force Kenyan sports champions to train by roadside

Reuters | Kisumu | Updated: 25-05-2020 16:12 IST | Created: 25-05-2020 15:46 IST
Gym closures force Kenyan sports champions to train by roadside
Representative Image Image Credit: Flickr

Kenya taekwondo champion Vincent Ochieng usually trains in school sports halls in Kisumu, but now he is working out with hundreds of other people on the gritty surface of the western city's biggest highway flyover. The government closed sports facilities in March as part of measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, leaving athletes like Ochieng, who was looking forward to representing Kenya at the World Taekwondo Championships in China in October, with nowhere to train.

"We are planning to represent the country in October ... in China Taekwondo World Cup, but unfortunately this COVID-19 is with us and we don't know when it's going to end. We just hope it ends before the tournament time," Ochieng told Reuters as he trained with other sportsmen and women. Ochieng, a six-time national champion who trains with his daughter, has represented Kenya in tournaments in South Korea, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Sudan.

Working out alongside him is Evelyne Akinyi, a welterweight boxer and national team member who started the sport five years ago and has competed in Morocco and Senegal. "Two days after our return from Senegal we got the news that coronavirus had hit Senegal," Akinyi said after doing sit-ups and practicing punches with her coach.

"That did not stop me from training. I am training, should there be a match soon." The early morning sessions attract about 400 other residents, including football and basketball players and musicians.

Some people disapprove, however, saying the training sessions violate government orders to avoid gathering in groups. "Let us train at home, let us do our things at home so that we can fight against this disease," Kisumu resident Daniel Otieno said as he walked past the flyover.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...

Videos

Latest News

Trump to raise $10 mln at in-person fundraiser in COVID-hit Florida

President Donald Trump is expected to raise 10 million on Friday during a high-dollar fundraiser hosted by the chief executive of a snack company in coronavirus-stricken Florida, according to a Republican official.The in-person fundraiser, ...

China rejects food imports after virus detected

New coronavirus cases have dropped sharply in China, and authorities are turning their attention to concerns that the virus could spread through imported food. Those worries have risen since a June outbreak in Beijing that was linked to the...

WHO believes 'unknown pneumonia' in Kazakhstan could be COVID-19

The emergencies chief of the World Health Organization says the agency believes an unexplained pneumonia outbreak in Kazakhstan is likely due to the coronavirus. Dr Michael Ryan says Kazakh authorities have reported more than 10,000 lab-con...

No guarantee Trump will back India against China if tensions escalate: Former US NSA John Bolton

Former United States national security advisor John Bolton has said that if the Sino-India border tensions escalate, there is no guarantee that US President Donald Trump will back India against China. China has been behaving in a belligeren...

Give Feedback