By Javier Silas Omagor
Jacob Kiplimo, the newly crowned world bronze medalist, has lauded the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) for choosing a biblical school as the national camp and not a hotel.
Trinity Biblical Institute (TBI), a recently established Christian teaching school on Suam Road in Kapchorwa, was surprisingly made the national athletics camp for team Uganda for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
To many sports lovers and commentators, the choice came as a surprise, owing to the fact that previous camping ahead of similar major competitions, have always taken place in hotels, country inns or guesthouses.
For instance, in 2021, in preparation for the Olympics Games 2021, the team camped at Highland Guesthouse, Kapchorwa.
This year, Kenya decided to hold their residential camp at the Moi International Sports Centre, in the capital Nairobi, while Uganda chose a bible institute.
As the team wraps up the camping at the national athletics camp, Kiplimo has justified that the bible school was the best venue for them to reside ahead of the busy fixture.
“Being in God’s presence is always the best thing. Secondly, TBI is multipurpose facility with state-of-art facilities. Peaceful, spacious, great kitchen and staff for our required good feeding and above all, the athletes like it so much,” Kiplimo waxed lyrical of the TBI.
The stars had tonnes of fun during their one-month stay at the camp, with days filled with activities and other games such as basketball and table tennis, while others preferred to watch TV.
“I commend UAF and request them to consider places such as TBI for future residential camps for athletes rather than hotels and guesthouses which usually come with a lot of inconveniences and distraction. believe the teams are going to perform so well in their respective games across the world because of how well we have prepared physically, mentally and spiritually at TBI,” the 21-year-old Kiplimo added.
Kiplimo, who doubles as the World Half-Marathon record holder, champion and Olympic medallist 2021, was speaking exclusively to The Kampala Sun upon his return from Oregon, World Championships.
He has rejoined the Commonwealth Games team whom he will travel with on July 28, though the first batch leaves Uganda on Sunday, July 24.
The Uganda Athletics Federation vice-president on technical matters, Benjamin Njia, stated that the desire to put God first and at the centre of the team’s plans and expectations informed the decision to camp at TBI.
“The whole environment here is wonderful, conducive and peaceful for our proper preparation, but most importantly, we want to ensure that all our athletes get closer to God besides training,” he said.
John Sali, TBI academic registrar, affirmed that the institute was the place to host the camp so that the team goes to Birmingham with blessings.
“We also gave athletes permission to use our basketball court for recreational purposes, but one thing we prioritised was prayer and devotion for all runners,” he stated.
The national camp has had up to four teams representing Uganda in the same number of international athletics events simultaneously hosted in various cities across the world in July and early August.
They include the strong team of 17 members at Oregon, US for the soon ending World Champs, the Commonwealth squad heading to Birmingham on July 28 to August 8, 12 runners for World Athletics Junior Champions in Cali, Colombia and the contingent traveling to Turkey for the Islamic Solidarity Games which commence on August 8.
Uganda is set to make its 17th appearance at the Commonwealth Games at Birmingham 2022.
It has been billed as “the biggest event that Birmingham and the region has ever staged”, with more than 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and recognised territories expected to take part.
Birmingham 2022 is set to run from July 28 to August 8.