By BERNARD ROTICH
Nicholas Bett had requested Athletics Kenya to put up a training camp for sprinters, but didn’t live to see his dream followed up to fruition.
As the 2015 world 400 metres hurdles champion was buried at his Simat home in Uasin Gishu County on Thursday, his vision for the sprints emerged, with Athletics Kenya (AK) President Jack Tuwei announcing that they would hold a track and field meeting in his honour at Eldoret’s Kipchoge Keino Stadium.
Africa javelin champion Julius Yego said Bett shared his dream during the recent African Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria.
“While we were in Nigeria, Bett met with the AK officials and asked them to start a training camp for the sprints athletes so that they could perform better in future competitions. He never lived to see the camp,” Yego told mourners in Simat Thursday.
Deputy President William Ruto joined mourners at the athlete’s final send-off and also announced the government would set aside 100 slots for athletes at the next recruitment of the National Police Service.
Police Inspector General Joseph Boinnet confirmed that the service would recruit one officer from the late athlete’s family in his honour with Uasin Gishu Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno promising that a high altitude athletics camp under construction in the county be named after the former world champion.
Bett died last week in a road accident along the Cengalo-Lessos-Kapsabet road and was eulogized as a trailblazer in his sprints and hurdles speciality.
Ruto further said there are plans to include the athletes in a medical cover, just like what members of the disciplined forces were entitled to.
Maximilla Imali, a Kenya international sprinter and member of the police athletics team, addressed the congregation on behalf of the Kenyan team that competed in Nigeria early this month, saying they received the news of his death with deep shock.
“We were with Bett in Nigeria and we went through a lot with the disorganization that was witnessed during the Africa Championships,” said Imali. Former National Olympics Committee of Kenya President Kipchoge Keino said he would educate Bett’s children until secondary school.