Saskatoon athletes return from Kenya with new perspective

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CTV Saskatoon

Published Saturday, May 18, 2019 5:50PM CST

Last Updated Saturday, May 18, 2019 6:27PM CST

A Saskatoon running club has returned from a once in a lifetime trip to Kenya with a new perspective, after spending weeks training at high-altitudes and extreme heat.

The Head Coach of the Riversdale Athletics Club, RossAnn Edwards, was inspired to take the club to Africa after watching a video of a track team from New Zealand. After some research, Edwards found the ‘Kenya Experience’, which is a training program including running camps, expert coaching and workshops.

“We have a group of 34 athletes in Riversdale. They just about hit the roof they were so excited. So I thought, okay I’m going to take it to the parents now,” said Edwards.

After getting permission from the runner’s parents, the group spent months fundraising.

But soon enough the team was on the way to Kenya in April, for a total of two weeks. Now back in Canada, the members of the team are seeing the benefits of their unique training.

“I have asthma, so it was horrible the first few days but then it got better,” said Brett Schatz, a member of the team. “Coming back I felt like I was drowning in oxygen it was awesome.”

But being on the other side of the world also gave the athletes a new outlook on life. Trey Pernitsky, another member of the team, said it was a life changing experience.

“Seeing all the children that would come running with us that have nothing, like not even running shoes, and they would come run with us for a kilometer,” said Pernitsky.

The team also brought duffle bags full of shoes to give away to those who needed them.

“It was really a humbling experience when we got there, everyone was so happy with what they had and what little they had,” said Qunicy fast, a member of Riversdale Athletics Club

With files from CTV’s Saron Fanel

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