“With brains in my head and feet in my shoes, I am steering the direction I choose.. Today is my day, my mountain is waiting, so I’m getting on my way”.
Ok so, this is only my second blog post. I have been pretty busy with the small matter of the Commonwealth Games, and have recently just finished up a fantastic 14 months working with the organising committee delivering one of the biggest and most successful sporting events ever seen in the UK (which I will write about in a future post). My full attention now turns to my impending visit to Uganda and Kenya.
First of all I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who responded to my appeal for running gear. This last week has been spent collating and sorting the various items and figuring out how I will get them to the three running camps in Uganda and Kenya. Below is a photo of just some of the gear that has been donated this far.
A few weeks back I met with Walter Chumo in Glasgow. Walter is my main contact when it comes to the Solian marathon running camp in Kenya and feeder club Kapchorwa Running Foundation in Uganda and is the co-founder of both camps. Walter just happened to be in the UK on business so we arranged a quick meeting. Walter is very knowledgeable with regard to the Ugandan and Kenyan running scene and is very focused on supporting and enhancing the area of Kapchorwa and Solian with regard to middle and long distance running. A partnership I am very glad off as I am going into this project pretty blind with regard to local contacts etc.
During our meeting Walter outlined to me the obstacles that they are currently facing. The Solian camp, which currently houses 25 full time athletes, does not have the capability to employ a full time coach at present. Most of the athletes who are based there are self coached and support themselves with regards food, clothing and training programs etc. They also do not have a full time cook or adequate sleeping arrangements within the camp.
For anyone that is involved in athletics, be that local or international level, will know the importance of having a full time coach in order for you to progress in your career. Therefore, my main focus initially will be to achieve funding/raise finances to help support a full time coach for the camp and area of Solian and feeder club Kapchorwa Foundation. As already stated, there are 25 athletes based at the camp, of which several have run sub 2:10 marathons in races throughout Europe. Currently any costs attached with getting the various athletes to these races has been funded via Walter, and which is simply not sustainable when it comes to supporting future athletes who may have the potential to compete internationally.
One positive that I do see is that an athlete who can run a sub 2 hour 10 marathon with little support makes me strongly believe that with the correct guidance and support from a qualified full-time coach these athletes can achieve great things.
I am going to start raising some funds via paypal so if you would like to donate a small amount then please visit the paypal link here-https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/send-money-online and send your donation to firstname.lastname@example.org via the method outlined at the link provided. You will need to have a paypal account in order to be able to transfer funds. Any small amount would be greatly appreciated at this stage.
Anyone that donates will receive a personal thank you letter from Walter and the Solian camp outlining how your donation will help the various athletes based at both camps to progress and prosper with their running careers at local, national and international level.
Please be rest assured that any donations will be secure and managed directly by me and only me..
I fly out via London Monday week so once out there I will look to upload frequent blog posts and video interviews etc so please stay tuned.
Also, please visit http://www.shareuganda.co.uk- a locally based charity which is a strong supporter of what I am doing in Uganda and Kenya,
Ciao for now,