posted on June 22, 2016 14:38
Saskatoon Open Door Society is excited to congratulate the newcomer youth who did so well in the 2016 Saskatchewan Marathon. They keep getting faster and faster!
This year, Ibrahim Mohammed, 19 and originally from Ethiopia, came first in the 10k race with a time of 34.43. Ibrahim also won the 5k in 2013 and 2014. Moktar Said, 15 and originally from Eritrea, came in 3rd in the 5k race with a time of 18.54 minutes.
Ibrahim and Moktar are part of the Community Connection Youth Marathon Training program. This program has been helping young athletes for four years now. This year, there were six newcomer youth over 18 years of age from Syria entered in the race. And in total, 24 runners from different cultures including Syria, Pakistan, Vietnam, Philippines.
“The shared experience of movement transcends language and cultural barriers, and is a powerful way to bring together people of different ethnic backgrounds and a range of ages,” says Xuan, a volunteer in the training program.
“The Open Door Society’s Youth Running Program provides immigrant and refugee children with the opportunity to train within a fun and encouraging environment. I have been a coach for the running program for the past three years, and each time, it has been an absolute pleasure to guide their training. Through the program, the youth develop confidence in their own fitness and are fitted with proper running shoes, both of which are important for active living. Exercise is not always easy to pursue, particularly for people who are new to Canada, and with national physical activity rates far lower than recommended, this program is a step in the right direction. Whether it is discovering ability, improving fitness, or just having fun with other youth, the Open Door Running Program provides all of these while capturing the essence of multiculturalism.”