Sunday, May 22, 2011

Where poverty propels athletes

Temperatures in Nyahururu can dip to as low as 10 degrees at night and, as the sun’s first rays shine on the town near the western tip of the Aberdares, a group of young men shuffles towards the local sports stadium.

They show up as early as 6 a.m. in the hope that hard work at the training ground will eventually help them achieve the glory – and the riches – that come with winning races in Europe.

Yet, as the tragic events of last Sunday night when Samuel Wanjiru, the most famous graduate of this academy, plunged to his death illustrate, these poor teenagers are ill-prepared for the fame and fortune they struggle so hard to attain.