Final day is a site visit and a welcome to reality: Plan was to set off early but I soon learnt that 7 am is not early enough to beat the Nairobi traffic. We arrived at Tegla Loroupe training camp on the outskirts of Nairobi one hour behind schedule. So, straight to action – meeting the refugee athletes, listening to their phenomenal and inspiring stories of escaping war and now winning medals towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Particularly touched by a story of Gasto Nsazumukiza who arrived at Kakuma refugee camp after surviving inhuman experiences in the Congo jungle. The medals he has won in taekwondo towards his journey to Tokyo Olympic 2020 are partly because of the resilience he acquired from his journey of escaping. In the image below Gasto stands at the top of the V formation of the African Migratory birds with his support team (now brothers and sister from Kenya) and visionary coach George Wesonga Oyoo.
Way forward: After three amazing days of hard work and fun, the road map is clear.
- MOUs to be drawn between various partners including the AU, TLPF; Kenyatta University and UoL.
- Finalising the workshop document with recommendations for the African Union and all partners involved.
- We are leveraging this opportunity to build an international community for UoL (Worldwide) international sports management programme. AU, TLPF and Kenyatta University have agreed to explore partnership.
Some interesting questions:
- Can we develop a UoL MOOC aimed at empowering Refugees athletes with sport leadership skills?
- Can we explore a UoL programmes partnership between the MA Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies, the Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in International Sports Management and the Centre for Distance Education (CDE)?
Acknowledgements: The Nairobi workshop was designed and led by Oscar Mwaanga, superbly supported by the African Union and hosted by Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation (TLPF) through the remarkable leadership of Machacha Shepande (Head of Sport at AU) and IOC Ambassador Tegla Loroupe (Head of TLPF).