About the Academy
Running is just the start.
The Transcend Running Academy provides life-changing opportunities to individuals and communities through athletic, educational and leadership programs – helping shape the young people of Kenya and the developed world into the leaders of tomorrow.
The Academy provides full secondary school scholarships, coaching, and leadership training for students displaying a natural talent for running and a desire for academic excellence. We aim to further the educational and sporting opportunities for graduating students in Kenya, ultimately leading to collegiate scholarships in the United States.
Children from the U.S and Canada also take part our innovative running camps, where they travel to the mecca of running in Kenya, train with the Academy participants, receive coaching from current and past Kenyan champions, and of course experience the rich culture of Kenya.
The first class of 20 students started in January 2015.
The Transcend Running Academy was born during the making of the film Transcend, a feature documentary about how Boston-marathon champ Wesley Korir escaped grinding poverty in Kenya with a scholarship to study in the United States. Armed with his experiences from living in the U.S., Korir returns to his homeland with the conviction to make lasting change in the lives of his people by running again in the race of his life – for political office. While Wesley’s story is powerful, we believe it doesn’t have to be unique.
The Transcend team partnered with Wesley to create the Transcend Running Academy, with the belief that while running gave Wesley the means to an education, it was the leadership skills he gained while living in the United States that allowed him to return to Kenya to make a difference. Kenya needs more leaders who embody the honesty, integrity, and hard work that is so often found in those of us who love to run.
Consider that at any given time in recent history, as many as forty percent of world-champion runners in middle to long distance hail from one tribal group in western Kenya comprised of less than five million people. As much as there has been natural talent for running, there has been chronic lack of honest representative leadership in Kenya over the last half century, ensuring that the average person has very little opportunity to realize even the most basic needs for food and education, let alone their athletic talents.
We believe there is a tremendous opportunity to use running as a self-selection tool to find motivated young people who have a natural talent, discipline and passion that will allow them to realize their high potential both in running and in life. By keeping promising young runners in school they have the opportunity to develop as runners and work towards the possibility of an advanced education at home or abroad.
Promising talent is being recruited all over western Kenya, with a focus on the region where Wesley Korir is currently serving as a member of parliament. As is common in much of rural Kenya due to lack of high schools within geographic proximity, the students will be provided lodging and food during their semesters at the academy.
While at school the students will be provided with the following:
- Quality high school education
- Professional running coaching
- Leadership training
- Mentorship from runners and community leaders
- Training equipment and travel to local athletic events
Once admitted, students will be guaranteed four years of education as long as they meet the minimum educational standards. Promising athletic and educational candidates will be given additional help in preparing for scholarship opportunities and university entrance exams.
Where your support goes.
Transcend Running Academy is being kick-started into existence through an allocation of revenue from the release of the film Transcend, but that’s just the beginning. We’re seeking ongoing support in the form of one-time donations or monthly commitments.
The cost for an entire year of education, training, gear and travel to races is $1000 per year. This includes:
- Boarding and food
- Schooling including mandatory uniform
- Coaching, leadership training and mentorship
- Running gear and travel to local athletic events
- Creation of video web series and website for ongoing progress updates
An administration fee of 20 percent is included in this fee to cover recruiting and administration of the program.Donate
Give children in need a head start in life.
There are two ways you to help and bring the passion of sport and the power of leadership to the youth of the Transcend Running Academy.
20% of proceeds go directly to the Transcend Running Academy when shopping from: www.thefilmtranscend.com.
The first class of 20 students started January 2015!
Meet the Team
Wesley Korir was born and raised in Kitale, Kenya. He holds several titles, including the Boston Marathon 2012 champion, and runs professionally for Nike. Running gave Wesley the opportunity to earn a degree from the University of Louisville. In 2013, he brought his experiences back home, winning a seat in the Kenyan parliament.Follow Me
Ron Mann has coached in the United States for more than 40 years at all levels, producing hundreds of star athletes, including those on the Olympic Team USA, and at the University of Louisville, where he met Wesley. He is also very active in Southeast Christian Church and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Currently, he serves on the board for the Kenyan Kids Foundation.Follow Me
Tad is the Co-Director of Transcend and founder of the Transcend Running Academy. From a young age, he’s had a passion for international development, specifically in East Africa where he spent a few years growing up. He believes great stories have the power to change the world, and helms Storystream, a media production company. Tad is based in Toronto, Canada with his wife and five kids.
Michael Del Monte
Michael is Co-Director of Transcend and helped found the Transcend Running Academy. While doing his Master’s at the University of Toronto, he was a competitive distance runner and multiple-time All-Canadian. In the last two years he has made his passion of filmmaking his career. He has seen firsthand the opportunities that running can provide a young person – and is excited to embark on this journey with the Academy.
Transcend on Instagram
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