When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Love of jogging boosts link with Ethiopian school
THEIR lives are worlds apart, but a love of running has united two primary schools in Jericho and Ethiopia.
The Run Jericho event, organised by the St Barnabas Primary School’s Parent-Teacher Association, was first held last year to raise money for the school’s library and pay for a librarian.
But this year the run will also raise money for a school in Bekoji, the so-called ‘town of runners’, in Ethiopia.
The money from Run Jericho will be used to fund a school library in the rural town.
Organiser Quinn Bailey, inset, had the idea to raise money for Bekoji after seeing it in a documentary that follows two young girls as they try to become professional athletes.
Ms Bailey, whose daughters Emmie, seven, and Elle, six, both go to St Barnabas, said: “We wanted to do something meaningful for the kids.
“The film gave them something they could relate to. Their backgrounds couldn’t be more different, but their shared love of running and the very different circumstances in which they do it has brought them together.”
Bekoji has also produced some of the world’s greatest distance athletes, including Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba. Last week the school had a training session from another of the town’s runners – the record breaking winner of this year’s Town and Gown race, Edao Weliy.
Mr Weliy completed the 10km course around Oxford city centre in a time of 29 minutes and 27 seconds, the fastest ever recorded at the event.
Ms Bailey said: “He was great. He spoke a little English, not much, but they were still able to train together.
“It was a really lovely experience for the kids. They really enjoyed it.”
Run Jericho is a 10k race following a route through Jericho, around Port Meadow and along the Oxford Canal.
Before the main 10k run, there will be a children’s one-mile run through Worcester College and the streets of Jericho.