Below is my proposed plan for a Long Distance Running Camp in Asmara. All ideas are in their earliest stages and many of the people or organizations have yet to be contacted. Any feedback or assistance that you feel able to offer would be greatly appreciated.
-Approach shoe and apparel companies with regards to the possibility of establishing a training camp for long distance runners in Eritrea. -Ultimately to establish long term athletic sponsorship for athletes with major international corporations
What the Runners Gain over a Period of Two Years
-The basic workouts, motivation and structure required for these men and women to challenge on the International distance running scene. -Small 'rewards' for regular attendance at workouts. -Prizes or prize money for races run one every two or three weeks. -Greater international exposure (Web site) -Potential for financial sponsorship with major corporations
What the Sponsor would gain
-Access to a largely untapped talent pool that could realistically challenge Ethiopia or Kenya. -Media Potential (Web site) -Advertising potential - a shoe company that takes the initiative to reach out to the world -Corner a potential market for retail and runners -Limited costs
Costs of Project Projected over Two Years
-Limited prize money ($20, $10, $5 prizes?) -Shirts, shoes, etc (incentives for regular attendance) -Used shoes (provided by universities here in the United States). -Some minor personal expenses (ie. health coverage)
Who could help?
I expect that help could come in two forms. Firstly people who would show a general support for the project. And second, people who could physically or financially contribute.
General Support (Letters of Recommendation)
-Jon McCallum (A friend of mine sponsored by Nike who could confirm my commitment and passion for the sport of running) -Mark McManus (runs for Nike Farm Team in Palo Alto) -Bret Kimple (a former Coach of mine)
Technical or Financial Assistance
-Bolota Asmerom and Meb Keflezghi (Both represented Eritrea in Sydney 2000. Their presence for any time period to train with these runners would be priceless). -Coach Hunt and Coach Storey - for training guidelines -Belgrave Harriers - stand to gain from development of runners in Eritrea as potential recruits -Eritrean Minister of Education (or Sport) - for in country support and guidance -Coach Sue Williams (UCDavis) - for the donation of used shoes -Bay Area Eritrean Association - general support -Shuq.com or other airline - discount air travel? Free transport of used shoes? -A given shoe sponsor - see costs above -Anyone who could employ me in Eritrea! I need to live. Rented accommodation and food are the most obvious costs although health coverage and travel are also important.