Abunch of former track and field athletes were left crestfallen and out of place when coach Peter Okot Omony passed on at the start of the month.
Most of these had moved on with life to the USA, Canada and parts of Europe and couldn’t attend the burial of the former decathlete who also played rugby at the old Kampala Rugby Club back in the ‘70s to ‘90s.
Okot, passed on aged 74, and he was the technical vice at Uganda Athletics Federation. He had impacted many careers over the years including many retired runners.
“He developed my core body during off season,” recalled Harry Larubi, a former middle distance runner.
Larubi returned home from the USA to celebrate Christmas and as a representative of the former 40-60 athletes based abroad, donated a $1200 (Shs4.4m) contribution back to their former and some current coaches. The group came up with 15 coaches’ names to reward including Nalis Bigingo, Benjamin Longiross, Beatrice Ayikoru, Faustino Kiwa, Medi Abdallah and Raphael Kasaija.
“This was on short notice as something little for Christmas,” remarked Larubi while speaking to Abdallah and Kiwa at UAF offices yesterday.
“As former athletes currently based in the USA and the diaspora, coach Omony was in hospital and we couldn’t get the contact of the caretaker.”
“We still raised something during his burial. One of our members suggested that we raise something to thank them but these coaches have been our mentors on and off the field,” said the former 800m runner, who represented Uganda at the East & Central Africa Youth Championships in 2001.
“Most of the coaches do coaching a part time thing but they impacted a lot on our lives both on and off the track. We wanted to celebrate them before they pass on,” the former Bombo SS and Kyambogo University club runner noted.
Larubi returned home from the
USA to celebrate Christmas and as
a representative of the former
40-60 athletes based abroad,
donated a $1,200 (Shs4.4m)
contribution back to their former
and some current coaches.