East African athletes doing their bit to help the environment

JOHANNESBURG, June 9 (ANA) – Runners from East Africa, like Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, many who were either raised in rural farming settings, or have taken up farming during their professional running careers, have long been known as strong stewards of their environment.

“For a long time I’ve had a love for the environment,” said three-time world half marathon and twice world cross country champion Kamworor.

“When I was young I could take care of the cattle in the forest, where I enjoyed the beautiful nature.

“For that reason I learned the importance of environmental conservation, which was something also emphasised at school. Apart from practising farming we normally complete our runs in the forest, where the beautiful nature and the fresh air we enjoy there acts as a further reminder of the importance of conserving the environment around us.”

Kamworor has planted more than 2000 trees in his community over the past three months.

Similarly, another Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto, the world 10km record holder, recently planted 4000 trees in and around his village in Kamwosor to help prevent soil erosion and landslides that affect his hilly community.

This past weekend, Kamworor was part of a group of top African runners including Kenyan men’s marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge who took part in a virtual 42km relay event called “M A R A T H O N”.

Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei also participated.

The event on Saturday and Sunday invited runners from around the world to join teams of four to complete a full marathon together, alone.

Kipchoge, Bekele, Cheptegei and Kamworor were randomly added to 10 of the participating teams. – African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Michael Sherman