BY CATHERINE RIUNGU
Nairobi July 6, 2016 .As focus on sustainable farming practices takes centre-stage, flower grower Oserian Development Company has created pink bicycles to encourage female employees to cycle for ease of movement, better health and a cleaner environment.
The message will be driven by three farm-based Kenya Women’s National Football Team ( Harambee Starlets) members who have been gifted with pink bicycles for doing the farm and country proud. The girls are playing for both the Oserian football team that is a top contender in the Kenya Premier League and the female national team.
Irene Ogutu, Dorcas Eshikobe and Leila Apiyo received the pink bicycles from Managing Director, Neil Hellings, who asked them to ride the colorful bikes to attract their counterparts to cycle.
“Ladies have generally shied away from riding and we converted black bicycles to a colour universally acknowledged as appealing to girls to encourage cycling. We opted for the football champions to spearhead the practice because heroes make good role models”, added Kirimi Mpungu, the farm’s head of administration.
Dorcas and Irene, were in the team of Harambee Starlets that beat Uganda Cranes 4-0 in Kisumu last Sunday.
Oserian supports football to develop teamwork, cohesion, a healthy lifestyle and encourage productive leisure time management. “Ultimately, employees are healthier, more productive hence increase value at work while reducing down time, sick leave and medical bills”, added Mr Mpungu.
Apart from the national women’s football team, another Oserian worker Alfred Juma who topped the company’s cycling competition has been recruited into the national cycling team, opening him up to greater exposure and possible career development options.
In the past, Oserian has honed skills of players and coaches, the most notable being retired international John Baraza, and national coach Twahir Muhidin.
Cycling has been identified as a cleaner means of transport in flower farms that have many employees to reduce pollution and encourage healthier lifestyles since riding is a form of exercise. The practice also reduces traffic jams.