Kenya is the country par excellence of long distance running. Recreational sports are also gradually gaining momentum and Kenyans want to exercise more. To help stimulate this movement Golazo and Athletics Kenya are now entering into structural cooperation, which will lead to a series of city runs before the end of this year.
For years, Golazo has been a trailblazer for recreational sports events in Europe. The sports company wants to get people moving and do its part for a more active and healthier society. “We are reaping the benefits of our approach in Western Europe and we have managed to get considerably more people moving for several consecutive years now”, clarifies CEO Bob Verbeeck.
“But it was during my recent visit to Kenya, a country I have been visiting frequently for decades, that I noticed as soon as I landed in Nairobi how many people are running. And I am not referring to the top athletes that Kenya has a tradition of, but your ordinary man or woman in the street. We want to help stimulate that and that is why we are entering into cooperation with Athletics Kenya and wish to set up a structural approach to continue to embed a habit of running and exercising among Kenyans. The emphasis will be on the experience and not on performance.”
A first concrete example of how those plans will be developed is the “Athletics Kenya 10K Series”: a series of 10k-runs in Kenya’s major cities. There is a link with top sports, but these events are first and foremost aimed at recreational runners and even beginners, from all age groups and from all different backgrounds.
General Tuwei, President Athletics Kenya: “This long-term agreement with Golazo will strengthen the position of Athletics Kenya as the promoter of sports and healthy lifestyle in the country. Athletics Kenya has the finest distance runners in the world. With this initiative, we want to embrace everybody who wants to lead a healthier lifestyle through running, regardless of their fitness level and age. Everybody who is starting to run is part of the Athletics Kenya family.
Golazo Kenya will take charge of the complete development, organisation and marketing of the events. Athletics Kenya will support Golazo in this in a range of areas.
Currently, Golazo has 45 operations in 12 cities across several European countries with major operations in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, but also an important operation in Kenya, where Golazo has focused on athlete management until now, but is moving towards events and other ways to get Kenya ‘moving’.
Golazo CEO and founder Bob Verbeeck is a former athlete himself (1500m Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984) and has had a close relationship with Kenya and many of its (former and current) top athletes for more than 30 years now.