Pastor Elizabeth Jepchirchir Kiprono has been gifted a 55-inch LG NanoCell TV retailing at Kshs 118,000 as the first beneficiary of the LG/SJAK CSR activities aimed at giving back to the community, participating in philanthropic causes and providing positive social value.
Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) spotted Jepchirchir in a photo by Nation Sports photojournalist Jared Nyataya at the Iten International Marathon on November 11, 2023, where she was captured urging the leading athlete Luke Kibet not to give up, and he eventually went on to win the second edition of the race.
(TOP: Pastor Elizabeth Jepchirchir – centre – flanked by SJAK’s chair James Waindi – left – and LG East Africa Communications Manager Maureen Kemunto – right – while receiving her TV gift).
However, Pastor Jepchirchir was not aware that the athlete she was encouraging to maintain the pace finally won. She had left her Sunday School teaching role that day to cheer the athletes. She couldn’t also watch the final action at home as she did not own a television set.
“I even didn’t know who won the race because I don’t have a television set but I was just encouraging them to do their best because that is the talent God has blessed them with. I am happy to learn from you that the young man eventually bagged the victory,” said Jepchirchir.
Jepchirchir was an athlete during her younger days, when she competed in the sprints, sometimes up to the national level. She said that when she heard that the route had been earmarked for the race, she planned to be around to cheer on the women’s marathon runners. However, she opted to briefly attend to her Sunday School teaching work, before leaving with her students to watch the races, only to realize that the women competitors had already passed her chosen viewing location.
“My target was to encourage the women athletes but when I got to the road, they had already passed, so I waited for the men and when I saw the leader, I was overwhelmed and started I following him,” she said.
“I don’t even know him but I was just cheering on and making him aware that we were supporting him as fans. I told him not to lose hope but to go for the glory,” she said.
SJAK president James Waindi said they were excited to make Jepchirchir’s dream come true and promised more similar CSR activities in partnership with the Association’s key sponsors, LG, going forward.
“It’s always exciting to give back to the community. We have rewarded several outstanding athletes this year and it feels great to gift a staunch supporter like Jepchirchir who will now be able to watch even foreign races from the comfort of her seating room and stay updated on matters athletics and sports in general,” Waindi said.
LG Electronics East Africa MD Dongwon Lee lauded Jepchirchir for her actions, and urged her to continue with her love for sports.
“Through Jepchirchir, it has been demonstrated that with fan-support, or what others in football refer to as the 12th man, results can be achieved in sports. It is even more impressive that Jepchirchir herself is a former athlete,” Lee said.
Elizabeth, a mother of nine and wife to a church minister, used to run while in Kapsisi Primary School and after failing to realize her dreams, she decided to continue encouraging and praying for the youth including her own children, some of whom are athletes.