Running led Bernd Breitmaier to Kenya and awakened his passion for the people and the country. Kenya is known as the land of the runners. The best athletes from around the world train in Kenya's highlands to enjoy the high altitude and exceptional climate. However, there is very high unemployment in the population, so racing is, for many Kenyans, an attempt to escape poverty. That is why there are many running camps. Managers and companies have discovered a business idea, to make profit through runners. Complete Sports wants to address this problem and, through a non-profit Athletic Training Center, develop talented runners without exploiting them. Those who do not make the leap to professional sport, we help them to find another job.
Many charity projects use donor sponsorships. Here, the donor supports a specific person with a regular amount. This is a great idea, but we have learned through experience, and have decided not to take this path.
In Germany, there is often a glorified image of charity projects: “One gives money to build something, and all who helped with it locally are happy and grateful.\E2?
Well, sometimes people forget that the supported athletes and coaches receive help because there are reasons why they would not be able to help themselves. Some athletes have not sticked to the rules of the athletic training centre and have even decided to leave the centre, what most of them regretted shortly afterwards.
In Kenya, we live in the harsh reality. This includes a lot of human setbacks.
We also realise that it is not understandable for some of our athletes why one athlete has a personal sponsor and the other athlete not. The one without a personal sponsor would feel left out and not valued as much.
Besides that, we can only accompany the athletes for a short period of their lives and therefore it is not appropriate to sponsor a particular person.
We do everything for our athletes and are proud that two-thirds of our athletes complete the training. We believe in the idea of Complete Sports and walk along that path. Step by step.
Not yet. Although, promoting women's running is a clear goal of Complete Sports, we cannot implement this at present.
The status of women in Kenya is not easy and it takes a lot of experience in the country to create a support structure for female runners. Many Kenyans have already tried to do this.
Can you not just train men and women in Kaptagat?
Unfortunately, no. Since the athletes live and train together on the premises, a mixed camp is currently unworkable. Our Athletic Training Center is located on the property of the African Inland Church. Therefore, we must also respect their clear attitude in this regard. This will only change with the acquisition of our own land.