Bit of a different blog today but still running related! by Mandy Norris

Around 4 years ago I responded to a plea from a Kenyan athlete asking for 2nd hand trainers for himself and his team mates. He told us on Facebook that he was an athlete but he often had to run bare foot as they could not afford trainers.  I sent him an old pair of Reeboks and a few weeks later he sent me a thank you note with a photo of his little boy holding the trainers I had sent. I did not know it then but it turns out that he was actually a fantastic runner, running times I could only dream of. I’ve kept in touch with Philip Kiptoo ever since then -and I’m proud to say he’s now sponsored by Under Armour and represents Kenya in many races across the world.

The story does not end there. It turned out that Philip and his brother Jonah worked endlessly raising money and funding for a tiny little school in their home village of Tambach in Kenya. I found out that many of the local children were not getting an education as their parents could not afford the fees and the cost of the uniform.  Many could not even afford to feed their families and were going hungry. Philip sent me photos of the school and my heart melted when I saw the local children. I decided to sponsor a little boy called Brian.

Brian was a aged 6 and longed to go to school, but his mother could not afford to send him. I offered to sponsor Brian and every month I send Philip £25 – this is £16 for his school fees and £9 goes to his mother for food. Philip, in return sends me regular updates and photos and copies of school reports. Brian is doing so well now and I am so proud that I could help. I have managed to get several friends involved, as well as my own daughter, and several children are now getting an education – something our own children often take for granted.

The school is in crisis at the minute with many children not having enough food. Many local children are waiting to go to school but without a sponsor they are not able to do so. It costs £16 a month to sponsor a child (I choose to give the extra £9 to his mother -that was my own decision). Every single penny goes to the school.  You can pay via Paypal each month and Philip and Jonah will send out regular updates and photos.  It’s so lovely to see your child’s progress.

If you would like more information, please contact me on

And all because of a pair of old trainers.