By Javier Silas Omagor
Uganda’s greatest athlete of all time and arguably the best sportsman to ever grace this country, Joshua Cheptegei is also a force to reckon with academically.
The 25 year –old successfully went through primary school level at his native sub region Sebei and started his high school education there too at Town View secondary school.
But, the France Cannes 10K defending champion moved to Mbale Progressive High School then off to Busoga sub region where he completed his Uganda Advanced Education Certificate.
The 10-kilometer World Champion (Doha 2019) had to choose between two Universities; Makerere where his friend and club coach, Benjamin Njia studied and Bugema University where he was being offered a full scholarship.
The Olympic gold medalist ultimately joined Bugema University for a bachelor’s degree in Education.
Joshua Cheptegei speaks with his mother in a recent event held in his homeland. Photo by Javier Silas Omagor
Cheptegei’s choice in Education university program was no surprise to many of his close friends owing to the fact that his father, Stephenson Munerya, current headteacher of Kwoti Primary school in Kapchorwa district also did the same course.
Now, having started well and fruitfully representing his university nationally and internationally, Cheptegei returned home and his education slightly took a twist.
The speed monster noticed that he had potential but needed top notch professional training and inspiration in order to unleash his full abilities
Cheptegei then asked for a dead year so as to join up with his role model Eliud Kipchoge in the neighboring Kenya.
The Assistant Superintendent of Police’s time in Kenya did not go to waste athletically as he learnt as much information as possible from his spell training alongside Kipchoge
The Police officer has been unstoppable on road and track since making that decision but it halted his university degree program and he is concerned about it.
“I want to make sure I go back to Campus and finish my course. That is a promise I will deliver on by all means,” Cheptegei told guests while opening his Joshua Cheptegei Development Foundation recently
The good news is Faustino Kiwa who prodded him to join Bugema University has confirmed to Kampala Sun Sports that the door is open for the recently crowned USA Eugene Diamond League champion.
“We are considering allowing him to continue with the remaining course – units online. Bugema has a study centre in Mbale City which we think he can easily access since it is nearer to Kapchorwa where his training base is.
It is obvious that Cheptegei hails from an educational background with most of his siblings and relatives being learned people.
Given that kind of social setup surrounding him, enough inspiration and pressure will surely be mounted to spur him into academic greatness just as he continues to attain in athletics.
To further demonstrate his own passion and love for education, in 2021, Cheptegei bought a school which he now manages under his code name Joshua Cheptegei Junior and Primary School, Kapchorwa
In his first year as a school director, Cheptegei’s school enrolment has drastically shot up from approximately 200 under the previous management to about 700 pupils.
Cheptegei is also sponsoring several students at primary, secondary and university level as well as tertiary institutions.
Some of the vulnerable learners he sponsors have since graduated and joined civil service while others have opened up personal enterprises in Sebei and across the country.