Deputy President William Ruto has asked the Ministry of Sports to ensure all outstanding dues for athletes are cleared within a fortnight.
Mr Ruto said the ministry should ensure all pending cash rewards should be settled.
He spoke when he hosted Kenya’s team which participated in the just concluded World Cross Country Championships in Denmark at his Karen residence, in Nairobi on Thursday evening.
Lauding the role played by athletes in uniting Kenyans as well as promoting its image abroad, the Deputy President said all outstanding allowances amounting to Sh235 million would be paid.
“We will work together with the Ministry of Sports to make available resources to settle all outstanding rewards and allowances of our athletes from 2010 to date,” said Dr Ruto.
He said the integral role of sports in cementing relations in the society calls for participants to be motivated.
Present were Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Sports Victor Munyaka, Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, MPs Dan Wanyama (Webuye East), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Nixon Korir (Lang’ata) and Samson Cherargei (Nandi).
Others were Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia, Sports Kenya chairman Fred Muteti, President of Athletics Kenya Jackson Tuwei, among others.
As part of the Government efforts to promote sporting activities, the Deputy President said it had initiated Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund to cater for the needs of its sportsmen and women.
Dr Ruto said the fund would finance the development of sports and recreational facilities besides supporting sportspersons and its organisations.
“We have an obligation to honour our sportsmen and women who raise our flag high all over the world. We must identify and nurture the talents in this field for the benefit our country,” said Dr Ruto.
He said it was impressive that Kenya managed to be position 3 out of 67 countries in the Denmark-held competition.
“It is no mean achievement to be ranked that high. The joy you bring us cannot have monetary value or anything else. You are doing us proud,” Dr Ruto told the athletes.
Machakos Town MP proposed that out of Sh28 billion that would be received from betting through the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund, 35 per cent of it should support the youth in sports.
“We will work together with all the stakeholders to ensure that the welfare of our athletes is taken care of so as to boost their morale,” said Dr Munyaka.
Mr Murkomen emphasised on the need to accelerate efforts to establish training facilities for sporting activities across the country.
“County governments must he held to account on the provision of training facilities for our sportsperson. It is through the provision of these facilities that they can nurture their talents,” he said.
On his part, Mr Tuwei praised the role played by the government in the development of sporting activities in the country.
Speaking on behalf of the athletes, Helen Obiri and Geoffrey Kamworor who led the national team to Denmark urged the government to provide training camps for athletes as part of its efforts to promoting sporting activities.
“We appreciate the ongoing efforts to improve our welfare. We ask the government to clear all the outstanding allowances and help us get training facilities. We will do our part,” said Ms Obiri.