World record holder and Olympic Gold medalist David Rudisha won the hearts of thousands of Irish fans, when he visited close to a dozen schools and competed in a series of showcase events in the West of Ireland recently.
The Kenyan champion and his Irish-born coach Br. Colm O’Connell were in Galway in September, for a charity run and other events that will raise funds to support Self Help Africa and other charities
The visit was organised by the Galway Kenya Association, and included an Invitational Elite Mile, and series of other events involving public figures, school children and others. Highlight of the visit were a series of visits by the Olympic champion to local schools – to which he gave his time generously.
24-year-old David Rudisha is the current Olympic gold medalist and world record holder at 800 metres. The first person to ever run under 1 minute 41 seconds for the distance, he also holds half of the 20 fastest times ever run by an athlete over the distance.
Rudisha is one of nearly 30 world champions to have been coached by Cork born missionary Br. Colm O’Connell, who formerly studied at NUI Galway before departing for Kenya’s Rift Valley more than 35 years ago. Despite having no coaching background, Br. Colm is one of the leading athletics coaches in the world. Today he has 120 training camps across Kenya, and is known as ‘the godfather of Kenyan running’. 25 of his students have gone on to become world champions, and four, including David Rudisha, have won gold medals at the Olympic Games.
The visit was organised with the generous support of Richard O’Donovan and North Pole Marathon.