I will be participating in the 2012 New York City Marathon on November 4 as a fundraiser for A Running Start Foundation. Formed in 2004, the Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to using the power of sport to improve the lives of African children. Large parts of the continent are impoverished yet are home to the world's greatest store of running talent. The Foundation's mission is to harness this talent in order to allow more of the children to earn a U.S. university education from their athletic gift, to leverage sport to inspire local children to stay in school and enable more talented young athletes to earn a living from sport.
Sport is an increasingly popular tool for youth development and social change in developing countries. In 2008, Nike and the non-profit organization Ashoka selected A Running Start Foundation as one of 16 finalists from over 380 applicants for its Sport For a Better World charity competition.
Each of A Running Start's projects are aimed at assisting youngsters in Africa rather than established elite athletes, and are carefully selected and tightly managed to maximize results and eliminate waste. The Foundation works with many of the most respected coaches, school officials and athletes in the region and is the exclusive or primary donor for each project.
A Running Start's projects are locally-managed and most are based in high-altitude, rural and impoverished regions of Africa where sport and education are the best means to a better life.