The gap between the management and success of elite middle and long distance runners in Kenya
Nyaga, Lewis R.K.
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Kenya has dominated middle and long distance races at international competitions for the last five decades. However, Kenyan world record beaters have denounced the motherland flag by switching nationality, sought training in alien bases under foreign managers, neglect-induced death at a prime career age, or living under deplorable conditions after athletic career. Extensive research has been carried on success of Kenyan runners but no study to the knowledge of the researcher has linked the management of Kenyan athletes to that success. As a foundation for further research, the current theoretical study was designed to determine whether elite athletes, their coaches, and administrative officials (Athletics Kenya [AK] officials) differed on the effectiveness of the sampled managerial practices (personnel, equipment/facilities, motivation, patriotism, team selection, and training programs) in facilitating the success of Kenyan elite runners. The study further details the administrative structure of athletics in Kenya, the effect of nationality change, and the role foreign managers in the success of Kenya in distance running. The study took place in Nairobi, Kenya. The sample comprised 185 elite athletes, 49 coaches, and 34 AK officials. The pair wise comparisons showed that athletes differed significantly with coaches and AK officials on the sampled managerial practices while coaches did not differ significantly with AK officials. Suggestions for further research are given.