Peace building hands Loroupe Woman of the Year Award
Tegla Loroupe's newfound role as a peace activist in pastoralists' Kenya and neighbouring countries has not only earned her an idol status but has also propelled her to the 2006 Eve woman of the year award.
Her name was picked at a glamorous ceremony held at a Nairobi hotel on 10th March 2006 graced by Information minister, Mutahi Kagwe.
She was commended for her dedication to the country through the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation, which she founded. The foundation runs programmes on promoting peace through sporting activities. The foundation has so far facilitated several peace races in Kenya and Uganda. A peace race that was supposed to take place last year in Southern Sudan was postponed following the sudden demise of Sudanese First Vice President and Chairman of Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/ M), the late Dr. John Garang in a plane crash.
It has been acknowledged widely that sports unite people of diverse origin by overcoming national, political, religious and language barriers. In her keynote address during International Olympic Committee meeting at Turin on 10th February 2006, Loroupe noted that what world leaders and business people couldn't achieve by themselves sport people can help them by making everyone work together.
"Sports doesn't have a protocol, you just come together. It doesn't mater which nation you come from, one person can win but all of us will cross the finish line", she said and continued, "A talk of a minister or president you are likely to forget, but if you participate in the same race with him or her, you will never forget that race".
And immediately after being honoured with the awarded, she said, "we are all winners today. I am honoured to receive this award which I dedicate to my people and all women."
The Eve Woman of the Year Awards was started in 2003 with the express purpose of identifying and honouring women who have made tremendous contribution to the society. The awards seek not only to celebrate women achievement, but to steers others to greater accomplishments.
Other winners were Dr Paula Kahumbu (Environment), Ann Mawadhe (Young Woman Achiever), Eva Muraya (Entrepreneur), Grace Seneiya, Mary Nkhumicha (Sports), Esther Wahome (Music), Prof Miriam Were (Academia), Wanjiku Mugane (Professional) and Dr Nyawira Muthiga in conservation.
Loroupe is also the first Kenyan to be awarded the prestigious George von Opel Award for her active involvement in humanitarian projects locally and abroad.