Indigneous athletes to train for NY marathon
Former marathon great Robert De Castella is going to train six young Indigenous athletes to run the New York City marathon at the end of the year.
He believes Indigenous Australians may have similar genetic advantages to the African runners that currently dominate the sport.
The running group have no previous athletics training but are fit and show promise.
“I’m absolutely confident we can get them to the finish line.” Robert De Castella told The 7:30 Report.
The runners will have to deal with New York’s winter conditions in November and for some of the runners, this training program means learning to get used to running with shoes.
Robert De Castella brought Australian distance running into the spotlight in the 1980s when he won the marathon in both the Brisbane and Edinburgh Commonwealth Games.
He’s hoping that his running group will taste international success and inspire a new generation of Indigenous runners.
He’s been recruiting indigenous athletes from across the country and has also enlisted running coach John Bell to help train the athletes in Alice Springs.
“It’s about getting out there and looking at the talent.” Robert De Castella told The 7:30 Report
“I think that the sense of self worth and the sense of personal pride and achievement that they will feel when they cross the finish line in New York will be absolutely spectacular. And I’m sure they’ll believe that after having done that, they can do anything.”