The University of Notre Dame’s Track and Cross Country Teams to Lead Sports Workshop for Youth in Mugunda, Kenya

October 09, 2019Institute for Educational Initiatives

Notre Dame, IN (October 9, 2019) - The Fostering Resilience Initiative, a part of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives, will host a sports workshop for local youth this fall in Mugunda, Kenya, in conjunction with Notre Dame’s track and cross country teams.

Over the University’s fall break on October 9-17, 10 track and cross country athletes will visit the Mugunda Youth Training and Sports Centre in central Kenya, which is part of an ongoing community-led project by the Juhudi Youth Development Initiative. The Fostering Resilience Initiative is partnering with the Mugunda community to develop the first Olympic-standard stadium and sports program in the region, where many of Kenya’s well-known long-distance runners originate. The sports center is one of several projects supported by Juhudi Youth Development Initiative. The Notre Dame student-athletes will serve as mentors and coaches while leading a sports workshop for local youth and will also have the opportunity to explore and learn more about the unique region of Kenya.

“There is much to admire about the Mugunda Parish Community, and its stellar education and youth development and sports programs,” said Dr. Neil Boothby, the founding director of the Fostering Resilience Initiative. “We are pleased that Notre Dame student-athletes will be able to engage meaningfully with the richness and complexities of these Central Kenyan communities and their aspirational youth.”

"Our student-athletes are ecstatic about the opportunity to work with the people of Mugunda, Kenya,” said Matt Sparks, the Hatherly-Piane Head Coach for cross country and track and field. “Our two cultures coming together to share our love of track and field will only help energize everyone's passion for the sport and find commonality between people."

About the Juhudi Youth Development Initiative

The Juhudi Youth Development Initiative was created with the objective of generating the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to support and expand local, educational, and economic opportunities for Mugunda youth between the ages of 15-25. Juhudi means energy in Swahili and reflects the Initiative’s goal to tap into the energy and enthusiasm of Mugunda’s youth to empower them to improve not only their own quality of life but their community’s as well.

About the Fostering Resilience Initiative

The interdisciplinary team, housed in the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives, works to ensure positive outcomes for children and youth facing adversity. By measuring and addressing risks and assets at the child level, as well as within homes, schools, and communities, the Initiative promotes a holistic approach to child and youth development. Its goal is to create environments that not only fulfill children’s and youth’s basic needs, but also promote nurturing relationships, socio-emotional skills, and civic engagement. The initiative currently works in seven countries:  Haiti, Peru, Colombia, Kenya, Tanzania, DR Congo, and Indiaw.

To learn more about the Fostering Resilience Initiative click here.

Media Contact

Hannah Chandler