Ferdinand Omanyala's grand plan to make Kenya a hub for producing a lot of sprinting talents

Ferdinand Omanyala's grand plan to make Kenya a hub for producing a lot of sprinting talents

Mark Kinyanjui 19:52 - 15.05.2024

Omanyala's plan to make Kenya a sustainable hub producing sprinting talents.

In a nation renowned for its dominance in middle and long-distance running, Ferdinand Omanyala has emerged as a trailblazer, reshaping Kenya's athletic narrative with every stride. 

Since his record-breaking sprint of 9.77 seconds at the 2021 Kip Keino Classic, Omanyala has not only become Africa's fastest man but has also sparked a new era of sprinting excellence in Kenya.

Omanyala's journey from a former rugby winger to the face of sprinting in Kenya has been nothing short of remarkable.

 His triumphs include clinching the Commonwealth Games gold and reaching the finals at the 2023 World Athletics Championships, achievements that have elevated him to iconic status in the realm of track and field.

However, amidst his personal success, Omanyala remains acutely aware of the untapped potential within Kenya's athletic landscape, particularly in sprinting.

 This realization has fueled his ambition to cultivate a new generation of sprinting greats through the establishment of the Ferdinand Omanyala Sprints Academy at St. Anthony's Boys in Kitale.

In a recent interview on the Ready-Set-Go podcast, Omanyala articulated his vision for the academy, emphasising the importance of mentorship and coaching in nurturing raw talent. 

"I have started my Omanyala foundation which will be dedicated to developing sprinters because I know the way, I know how it is done and I want to show them that this is the way to go," Omanyala stated.

Central to Omanyala's approach is the comprehensive training of coaches, recognizing their pivotal role in shaping the athletes of tomorrow. 

Aided by coach Geoffrey Kimani, he plans to make sure the pipeline for producing sprinting talent is more streamlined.

"We will have a camp to train coaches," he explained. "My coach is a sprint lecturer, he understands how things are done. We will get these guys enrolling in courses."

Moreover, Omanyala aims to leverage the experience of former sprinters who, despite not realizing their full potential, possess invaluable insight and passion for the sport. 

"The former sprinters who did not really achieve their full potential will also be converted to coaches because they still do have the passion and they understand," Omanyala affirmed.

By equipping coaches with the necessary skills and empowering them to mentor aspiring sprinters, Omanyala envisions a transformative impact on Kenya's athletic landscape. 

He remains optimistic about the abundance of talent waiting to be unearthed, citing a significant increase in participation as evidence of the burgeoning interest in sprinting.

"We have the talent," Omanyala declared. "Last year, we had 27 100m heats in one of the meets, and previously, we only had four or five. That means, these guys have the belief and umph in them that they can do it. We just have to give them better conditions."

As Omanyala continues to break barriers on the track, his legacy extends far beyond his individual achievements.

 Through his unwavering commitment to nurturing talent and fostering a culture of excellence, he is laying the foundation for Kenya to emerge as a formidable force in the realm of sprinting—a legacy that promises to endure for generations to come.

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