Kenyan taekwondo star Faith Ogallo, right, hopes athletes will help promote efforts to combat climate change ©Getty Images

Kenyan taekwondo star Faith Ogallo has called on fellow athletes to promote efforts to combat climate change.

Ogallo told Kenyan newspaper The Star that athletes should learn from the COVID-19 pandemic and could come together to act as champions to raise issues around climate change.

He suggested Kenyan athletes could learn from the approach of competitors from other nations and how they campaign on behalf of the environment.

"COVID is just but one of the issues emerging from climate change and as athletes we need to come together and champion the betterment of our climate," Ogallo told The Star.

"If we don't become champions of climate issues, then we will continue to be the most affected by these issues such as the corona pandemic.

"In the developed countries, even when you are jogging, you have to be mindful of how you use the environment including how you dispose of the things you use in training.

"In Kenya, our sportspersons are some of the biggest culprits in poorly disposing plastic bottles that they use to drink water."

Faith Ogallo, right, is building towards competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
Faith Ogallo, right, is building towards competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ©Getty Images

Ogallo is building towards this year's re-arranged Olympic Games in Tokyo after securing a berth through the African Taekwondo Olympic Qualification tournament last February.

The 27-year-old also secured an African Games taekwondo silver medal back in 2019.

Ogallo has supported efforts to set up more bubble training camps ahead of Tokyo 2020, with a rise of COVID-19 cases having led to increased Government restrictions in Kenya.

"It is unfortunate but we have to understand that the safety and health of not only athletes but all Kenyans is a top priority," Ogallo said.

"If an athlete tests positive, they will not be able to compete at any event, including even the Olympics.

"Therefore the measures are necessary.

"A bubble camp affords athletes unhindered access to their coaches and the best training equipment to enable them stay in shape.

"The bubble camp is the safest way to secure sportspersons because they do not mingle with the outside world."