Sentayehu (who likes to be known as ‘Coach’) is regarded as running royalty, having coached over a dozen Olympic medallists and world record holders – all from the small village of Bekoji, which has only 16,000 inhabitants. His impressive coaching CV includes Derarta Tulu, who was the first ever African female to win Olympic gold in 1992, the Bekele brothers (3 Olympic golds and a bronze between them) and Tiruness Dibaba (3 Olympic golds from Beijing and London).
Last year, the RSSH amassed their best haul of trophies ever when they won four county events and came second in the prestigious national Coventry Relays in February. This year, one of our Third Form entrants came fourth in the whole-school Tucks race, with a time that would have won the entire race just three years ago. With such a wealth of talent and determination in our ranks, we are confident that this once-in-a-lifetime coaching opportunity will make a real difference.
Coach’s presence at Shrewsbury has created quite a media frenzy; the BBC screened some of the interviews and footage that they took of the coach in action here on the Midlands Today programme at 6.30pm on Wednesday 7th November, and the story was also taken up by the BBC News Channel and BBC World. The specialist running shop in Shrewsbury ‘Up and Running’ is also donating some kit and spikes for Coach to take back to Ethiopia with him.
The Guardian featured Coach in an article earlier this year, and the documentary ‘Town of Runners’ had a global release last year and features Coach and two young girls from the Bekoji as they attempt to 'make it' as athletes. Although it is predominately a film about running, it also gives an interesting and inspiring insight into Ethiopian life.
We screened BBC Midlands Today live in Quod at 6.30pm on 7th November, followed by the screening of 'Town of Runners' and then a Q&A with Coach.
Other articles about Coach's visit to Shrewsbury:
BBC Midlands Today on BBC iPlayer : www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mj57 - move the slider across 19m30s, when the clip starts. Available until 6.30pm on Thursday 8th November.
BBC Shropshire : www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-20236470
Town of Runners : http://www.townofrunners.com/run-with-us/Education/Shrewsbury_School