Shrewsbury School

The Hunt welcomes running legend John Ngugi as Coach-in-Residence

Monday 13 October 2014

Pupils and staff at Shrewsbury School are thrilled to welcome former Olympic Gold Medallist and five-time World Cross-Country Champion John Ngugi. The Kenyan running legend arrived in Shrewsbury on Saturday 11th October and will be spending a week as Coach-in-Residence for the Hunt, the School’s cross-country running club.

Running has a long and proud tradition at Shrewsbury, dating back to 1831, and the Hunt is the oldest recorded cross-country running organisation in the world. It currently includes more than 60 boys and girls at the School and has re-established itself as one of the leading cross-country squads in the country. Last season they were medallists in all the national cross-country championships. 

Teacher in Charge of Running, Peter Middleton, has put together a packed programme for John Ngugi’s visit. "John was the most successful athlete of his generation and it is a true honour to be able to welcome him to Shrewsbury School. It has been an inspiring experience for our boys and girls to learn from one of the true greats of the sport.”

John's visit has been funded by an Old Salopian and made possible through an ongoing partnership between the School and Running Across Borders, a not-for-profit social enterprise focused on grassroots athletics, education and sports travel.

Apart from several training sessions throughout the week with members of the Hunt, John Ngugi has also been leading sessions with runners from other schools. His presence at the School caused much excitement among the 200 or so young runners who came to take part in our annual Prep Schools Cross-Country Championships on Sunday, where he presented the prizes. And on Tuesday evening, a group of county-level young athletes from local schools and running clubs joined some of the Hunt’s top runners for a specialist coaching session at the London Road Athletics Track in Shrewsbury.

On Wednesday, we hosted ‘An Evening with John Ngugi’ in the Ashton Theatre, when members of the public, parents, staff and pupils enjoyed the unique opportunity to hear John Ngugi discuss with Peter Middleton his extraordinary life and career and to ask him questions. Running Across Borders' founder Malcolm Anderson and GB marathon runner Dave Webb also joined John in a fascinating discussion about cross-country running on the international stage. The evening raised funds for the work of the John Ngugi Foundation which supports the development of young athletes in Kenya.

On Friday 17th October, John Ngugi’s visit concluded in style at the Tucks, the historic annual race in which all the pupils and many of the staff compete. It has taken place over roughly the same 3.5-mile course since 1831. This year was the first, however, when a winner of Olympic gold and World Championship medals presented the prizes.

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