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An invitation to join our newly formed Australia East Africa Running Academy.

The concept of AEARA really began in 2003 when Tony Benson and Barb Augustin recruited a few Braybrook kids and Gemeda Adem (middle) won the Australian U14 1500m Championship.

Reuben Kosgei training at Lakeside

Fearnley's running camp at Mt Beauty

The Academy Mission is to provide a cooperative environment for keen and enthusiastic coaches with a desire to coach in a similar style to the US and East Africa, with the aim to regain the kinds of results achieved by Australians of the 60's and 70's when World Top 10 rankings and international victories were common.

The Aims of the AEARA Program

  1. To introduce Australian based elite East African runners to AEARA runners and coaches, to assist in the development of these athletes.
  2. To encourage coaches who might see benefits for their athletes in the AEARA program to join the program.
  3. To identify un-coached, potentially talented athletes with commitment and self-belief from both the African and wider Australian community and offer them the chance to realise that potential with the AEARA coach of their choosing.
  4. To provide, via the Academy coaches, high quality programming to those athletes inducted into the program, and to offer as wide a range of assistance as possible to member coaches who join the Academy to expand their businesses. 
  5. This assistance would be based on: 
    • An understanding of training and competing as used by current East Africans and past Australian World Top 10 athletes and how these methods could be expanded to bring AEARA athletes to world level in their late teens or early 20’s. 
    • Sharing the knowledge of member coaches with records of success. 
    • Creating and maintaining a website to promote the program Over time providing access to auxiliary personnel, eg; medical, marketing, promotional etc. 
    • Accessing camps, clinics and seminars as conducted by Fearnley Running.
  6. To provide access to Reuben Kosgei’s Altitude Runners Management group that can assist coaches of athletes who have reached a level (normally world top 30 time in the previous calendar year) to be accepted into, and compete with success in, major IAAF events. Having elite athletes and former elite athletes and high performance coaches assisting the program will mitigate the covert and overt attempts to poach athletes by some coaches associated with National and/or State bodies. 
  7. To seek to improve athletic performances in middle and long distance events by having AEARA member coaches combine their squads at identified training sessions to allow athletes of similar abilities to train together with the aim of emulating the successful ‘camp’ approach of the East Africans. 
  8. To source training venues ideally suited to achieving identified outcomes eg. the renowned ‘Benson Hill Course’ in Ballarat. 
  9. The development of various promotional and marketing initiatives to create opportunities for coaches to expand their squads. 
  10. To ensure athletes and coaches appreciate that in many running events, success in junior events, while meaningful, is rarely a significant indicator of success at senior international level and, recognising this, to assist coaches in developing the correct balance between short, medium and long term goals. 

Ballarat Olympian Sharon Stewart on Benson’s Hill during her 1990 Commonwealth Games build up.