News20 Jun 2023

Two world records and a house for Kenya's Kipyegon


Faith Kipyegon receives her cheque from Kenyan President William Ruto (© Kenya, Ministry of Sport)

Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, who recently set world records in the 1500m and 5000m, has received a house and 5 million KES ($35,000) following her historic feats in Florence and Paris this month.

Kipyegon met with Kenyan President William Ruto on her return to her home country, with Ruto pledging a similar monetary reward for Kenya’s future world record-breakers.

The awarding of a house to Kipyegon follows the announcement on 30 May of a new scheme in Kenya that is designed to help athletes to own property and invest their earnings. It is particularly important for female athletes, who will now be able to buy a house under their sole name.

Kipyegon – the first recipient of the scheme – ran 3:49.11 to break the world 1500m record in Florence on 2 June and a week later the 29-year-old clocked 14:05.20 in Paris to add the world 5000m record to her ever-expanding CV.

She met with Ruto at State House in Nairobi and was joined at the ceremony by her husband Timothy Kitum, the 2012 Olympic 800m bronze medallist, and their daughter Alyn.

The new scheme is the result of a partnership between Athletics Kenya and Kenyan banking institution Housing Finance Group that offers athletes affordable home ownership, financing at incentivised Kenya Mortgage Refinancing rates and links to strategic affordable housing developers.

The partnership signing ceremony with Jackson Tuwei, Ababu Namwamba and the Housing Finance Corporation Group

The partnership signing ceremony with Jackson Tuwei, Ababu Namwamba and the Housing Finance Corporation Group (© Kenya, Ministry of Sport)

“It is a no-brainer that having a decent shelter is one of the basic needs for human survival. Yet, for all its importance, decent housing is one of the biggest challenges that millions of Kenyans face in this country,” said Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei during the launch of the partnership in Nairobi, where Hon. Ababu Namwamba, the Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts, was chief guest.

“Among those affected are Kenyan sportsmen and women who struggle with balancing putting a decent roof over their heads and pursuing their ambitions on the track and field.”

Beatrice Chebet, Beatrice Chepkoech, Dan Kiviasi, Mary Moraa, Wiseman Were, Wilfred Bungei, Milcah Chemos, Catherine Ndereba, John Ngugi and William Tanui were among the current and former athletes who were present at the launch ceremony.

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