‘Godfather of Kenyan running’ makes a dinner date with Gathimba Edwards Foundation

Brother Colm O’Connell
Brother Colm O’Connell. Photo: Facebook/Gathimba Edwards Foundation

On Friday night, Aberdeen based Kenyan charity Gathimba Edwards Foundation joined a legend from the world of athletics for dinner in Iten, known as ‘The Home of Champions’.

The legend in question was Brother Colm O’Connell, originally from Caherduggan in County Cork, who joined the Patrician Brothers at the age of 14. He left Ireland for the Great Rift Valley in Kenya in 1976 to teach geography at Iten’s St. Patrick’s High School in the Rift Valley Province.

He had the idea to create Iten’s first training camp in 1989 and is now viewed as the catalyst that transformed the village into a global track and field hub.

During his 36 years in Iten, has trained 25 world champions and four Olympic gold medallists including 800 metres world record holder David Rudisha. His success led him to being christened the “Godfather of Kenyan running”.

Those hoping to also hear Brother Colm’s story from the man himself, however, won’t need to go all the way to Kenya as he is visiting Aberdeen in Scotland to speak at the Gathimba Edwards Foundation dinner on Saturday 16th February 2019. Details and ticket information will be published on the Gathimba Edwards Foundation website soon.