Kenyan runners need Kenyan companies to sponsor individual runners

Vivian Cheruiyot leading the women 10,000m race at the Olympic trials in Kipchoge Stadium, Eldoret

Many local companies in Kenya usually come in to sponsor the highly increasing number of road races around and, as athletes, we are ever so grateful for such companies.
However, unlike in other team sports like volleyball, soccer and rugby where players even get salaries while in their training camps, I am yet to see a local company in Kenya that support athletes in their training, nutrition, coaching, access to gym facilities, massage, accommodation, travel to races and other daily living expenses.

Could the reason why these local companies do not sponsor local athletes be perhaps the fact that these companies do not see any benefit they will get by sponsoring the athletes? Could it be that the athletes do not go to them to look for sponsorship deals? Could it be the marketers in these companies only know about the top Kenyan athletes like David Rudisha, Mary Keitany, Ezekiel Kemboi and Vivian Cheruiyot and are afraid that they will have to pay them a lot of money if they need to sponsor them?
Well, I believe that if a local company would recruit young and talented runners and sponsor them and in the end any of the athletes turn out to become an Olympic champion that will be a great way of giving back to the community.
My message to local companies in Kenya is that becoming proud of Kenyan athletes is the first step. The next step they need to take now is to know that they need help while developing their talents and the third step is sponsoring them.

Mohamed Redal El Aaraby and Medina Deme Armino emerge victorious at the 2018 BLOM Beirut Marathon

Mohamed Reda El Aaraby of Morocco winning the 2018 Beirut Marathon, photo by Beirut Marathon

In what many would have thought to be a mistake, Mohamed Redal pushed the pace early at the Beirut Marathon managing to get an early break in the men's race that eventually resulted in an epic victory for him. He was able to beat his next competitor by a margin of over a minute.
Medina Deme Armino of Ethiopia winning the women's marathon race. Photo by Beirut Marathon
The women's race was a close competition in which Medina Deme emerged victorious. 
Below is a press release from the Beirut Marathon:
Beirut, November 11, 2018 - Mohamed Reda El Aaraby of Morocco played a starring role at 16th edition of the BLOM Bank Beirut Marathon on Sunday morning (11), clocking a course record of 2:10:41 to upset the favourites in the IAAF Gold Label road race.

Former Kenyan politician, Wesley Korir finds himself in Beirut, Lebanon

Wesley Korir in Beirut, photo by Beirut Marathon
Wesley Korir is already in Beirut for his major race on Sunday. This will be a race he has prepared well for without having to juggle between politics and training. Below is a press release from the organizers of the BLOM Beirut Marathon
Beirut, November 9, 2018 - For one of Kenya’s best-known politicians, it’s time to get back on track.
In recent years Wesley Korir has been many things to many people–a member of Kenyan Parliament, Boston Marathon champion, a philanthropist with various charity projects–but the 35-year-old is first and foremost a runner, and now he’s ready to return to his first love.
“Which is more exciting, politics or running marathons? That’s easy: marathons,” he says. “In politics sometimes the result is out of your control, no matter how hard you work, but in running you have to do everything for yourself, do what you love and finish how you want to finish.”
After a nightmare experience at the Rio Olympics in 2016, Korir found his beloved sport taking a back seat in life as his political career in Kenya soaked up so much of his time.

My one time interview with Canada's Reid Coolsaet when he arrived in Kenya to prepare for the world half marathon and Rio Olympics in 2016

Photo by Reid Coolsaet as I drove him past Eldoret town to Iten "Enda mbele moja kwa moja hadi mwisho wa njia,alafu ingia mkono wa...