A large part of my movement research takes part in Africa and the latest addition to this research is a project that investigates whether African runners movement is down to nature or nurture.
This project is currently taking place in Uganda and concentrates on people that have never run and runners that have had no formal coaching. This is already creating fascinating results and even more questions.
As part of the research I have set up a Coaching Academy to better understand how young Ugandans run and promote running as part of their lives. The academy is set up for street children who suffer from abuse and addiction. This is proving to be a great project, promoting exercise and health to youngsters who find themselves in rehabilitation centres, giving them something to focus on.
The academy then trains the runners to be coaches. This creates a sense of belonging and achievement with a sustainable future.
Peter and Francis are the first two coaches to go through the academy and are now coaching other street children as well at running clubs and schools – it turns out they are both pretty good runners too!
My aim is to take the academy to other communities worldwide. Running is completely natural to us and a great way of bringing people together and creating hope.
If you would like more information about the academy or would like to support it in some way please feel free to contact me.
A short clip from an upcoming film about the street children and the Coaching Academy