Kabushenga welcomes Kiprotich at Vision Groups’ head office
By Michael Nsubuga
After acquiring worldwide fame and becoming rich instantly, one would expect Olympic gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich to concetrate on his personal achievements and projects.
But the situation appears different with the Ugandan athlete, who also doubles as a world champion. Kiprotich cares about his fellow runners and would do anything for them even if it involves financing their participation in races organised anywhere.
At the just concluded MTN marathon, Kiprotich paid for 200 athletes to compete in the oneday event.
Aggrey Kagonyera, the MTN sponsorship and events manager, revealed this during a ceremony at the Vision Group head offi ces where Kiprotich received a sh103m cheque donated by different corporate companies and individuals for his World Championship gold medal exploits in Russia, last August.
“I would like to thank Kiprotich for encouraging and bringing along as many Ugandans as possible to take on the sport. We are looking forward to Brazil and we wish you many years of running,” Kagonyera, whose company contributed sh25m, pointed.
An inspiratiion to children
At the same function, Vision Group Chief Executive Offi cer (CEO) Robert Kabushenga called on corporate companies to play a more central role in the preparation of Ugandan athletes ahead of major competitions. “We can work together and prepare our teams in advance so that athletes concentrate on training and are not worried about home issues.
Let us be seen to invest in the development of athletes so that we have a big pool to represent us at big events,” Kabushenga urged. Kabushenga stressed that the donation was not about building personal wealth for Kiprotich but rather a celebration of an individual who has exhibited hard work, focus and discipline and is an inspiration to the young generation.
“It is such a powerful statement for our children. Promise us that you will win in Brazil so that we start collecting the dollars now,” Kabushenga jokingly told Kiprotich.
The Commander of the Special Forces Group Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who, contributed sh5m and sent a message through Lt. Col. Don Nabasa, congratulated Kiprotich for the remarkable achievement.
A role model for the forces
“It is not common in our security to have such a time to concentrate on other activities other than the security of our country and other schedules of work. But our brother Kiprotich has shown the world that other than his primary duties which is the security of the country, he can attain such prestigious honours.
“The importance of what he did is twofold. First of all, he attained the title of world champion but secondly he acquired physical fi tness which is so imparative in our profession and has a positive bearing. I also thank other Ugandans who supported him morally and financially for him to be able to achieve what he got.”
Kiprotich promises more
Kiprotich said he will continue working hard to bring more glory starting with the 2015 world championship in Beijing.
“I want to thank you for the work you have done for all sportsmen and ask you to continue with the same spirit. Our country has been known for bad things including Idi Amin but sport has changed that and now people are talking about us, thank you very much corporate companies and the New Vision for reporting about me,” Kiprotich said.
The other companies who were represented included Herbert Zaake the Head of Corporate Affairs at Standard Chartered Bank, Charles Byona from Crown Beverages, Herbert Opio of Dywood Safaris, NSSF’s Head of Marketing Olive Lumonya, Lt. Colonel Don Nabasa and Richard Tinka of Corner House Fraternity, UAF president Dominic Otuchet and Kiprotich’s manager Godfrey Nuwagaba.