Four-time Olympic gold medallist Matthew Pinsent travels to east Africa to look at the impact of the Paralympic Games in Kenya, and how disability is perceived there.
Browse content similar to Kenyan Sporting Dreams. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
magnificent. From one box to the other. Rooney! That is absolutely
fantastic. Rooney, he has scored! This is Wayne Rooney, with many
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 77 seconds
The Paralympic Games - one of the largest international sporting
Running alongside the Olympics, the Paralympics are open to people with
physical disabilities from all over Car it estimates are the 2012
Paralympic Games will be the most popular in history but it still has
some way to go to rival the Olympic Games. Take Kenya as a country, for
example. Everybody can name their middle and long-distance runners
from history, Kip Keino, David Rudisha, but did you also know
Kenya has produced 36 Paralympic medallist? I am ashamed to say I
cannot name a single one. So I'm off to find out more about some of
those who've been inspired by the Paralympics in Kenya, and to see
what opportunities it can provide. I meet the man wheeling himself
across Africa to raise money for Kenya's first spinal rehab centre.
I catch up with blind runner and four times Paralympic medallist,
Henry Wanyoike. And I join polio survivor and schoolboy Alex, as he
prepares to leave his village and travel all the way to London to see
I touch down in the capital, Nairobi, where I'm met by my guide,
Ibrahim Wafula. Hello, nice to meet you. Last time I was in Nairobi I
came with my father. I was -- it was 20 years ago. It is very
different now. I can hardly remember it. It does look different.
Taxi drivers are crazy. Wafula or One Leg' as he likes to be known is
something of a legend in Nairobi. He lost his leg in a car accident
when he was seven years old, and taught himself to drive by pressing
his crutch onto the accelerator! Today his taxi is automatic, and he
negotiates Nairobi's traffic with ease. Do you find the people you
pick up in your taxi are disabled? No, I pick up everybody. They like
me because if they need me they'd call me, one leg, where you?
says the best way to seek Nairobi isn't on four wheels, it's on to. -
- two. For Wafula is also a competitive cyclist. In his first
race he finished 20th, out of 200 able-bodied cyclists. He went on to
win the disabled category in the Nairobi cycling marathon, and he
How do you feel when you're cycling around? First of all, really happy,
because I feel like I have another leg. Because bike is my transport.
I feel happy. Was it ever your dream to go to the Paralympics as a
UN to Colombia to race. For the championship. You have to qualify.
Do you watch the parapet on TV? -- Paralympics. It makes me happy. I
never give up, because I know one day if I get the support I will go.
Wafula's determination is clear to see. But his story is all too
The cost of participation and the specially adapted equipment often
required can make it hard for people in the developing world to
Thank you. You're welcome. You are But one man who has qualified for
London 2012 is Henry Wanyoike, captain of the Kenyan Paralympic
Team. Henry lost his sight after suffering a stroke 17 years ago.
Now, his running partner Joseph is Hi, Matthew. Nice to meet you. And
I caught up with Henry as he limbered up for the Parkland Sports
Club half marathon. How fast are you going to run today? We've never
done this course so we are going to see where we need to polish.
Muggins was given the honours of The runners set off at a fair lick.
I ran the London marathon in 2011 in just over four hours. These guys
were on track to run today's half marathon in just over an hour. No
comparison! So this is the halfway point. We're expecting the runners
to get here anytime they have to get a stamp and retrace their steps.
They have to prove they have been here. They go back that way to the
Henry was the only blind runner competing in the race. He's linked
to Joseph's wrist by a short piece of string, and Joseph describes the
course to Henry as they go along letting him know if there's an
uphill, downhill or water stop Well done. We reckon he reached the
turn in about 45 minutes, maybe 40 minutes. That's quite good. He is
on for a good time. The winner had already crossed the finish line in
one hour and eight seconds. If Henry's previous track record was
anything to go bike I knew he couldn't be far behind. Henry set
the world records for the marathon and half marathon in Sydney, he won
gold in the 10K and 5K in Athens, and won a further bronze in Beijing.
Now though, the target is London. How was it? It was good. One hour,
18, that is great. For a course you didn't know. Do you both get
certificates? You they deserve them. After my first victory in Sydney,
my life began to change, because I was now able to accept myself fully.
I was now able to know there were so many things I could do. And now,
with my friend Joseph, my eyes, we've been able to compete in able-
bodied marathons like Hong Kong, and win Sports Personality of the
This is from the world championships. For beating the
world record. And this is from For Zack Kimotho, change isn't
coming quickly enough, and he's leaving Kenya to try to get
treatment for his disability elsewhere. I'm going to see if I
can catch up with him! I have read about his story and it has got me
grip. He is taking himself from Nairobi to South Africa, 4,000
kilometres, he has been going for one month and he has done 200 so
far. This will take years of his life. The reason it is taking so
long is he is doing it in a wheelchair. He is going to South
Africa for treatment and the nearest spinal rehab unit is in
South Africa, and on the way he wants to raise money to try and
build one for Kenyans here in Nairobi. So that other people don't
have to travel so far for the same We are looking for somebody called
Zack in a wheelchair? Have you seen him? I have stopped off in a
roadside town to ask if anybody has seen him. I think we will carry on,
have a further look down this way. The remark on the website is that
he has done 200 kilometres and we haven't quite done that. He passed
here three weeks ago. Do you know where he is now? He is on the road,
going from Nairobi. You have heard of him. South Africa. You have
heard of him. Two weeks ago. They have definitely seen him,
definitely means he is further that That looks like him. Definitely a
Got to be him. Hello. How are you? I am good. How has it been so far?
Good, challenging, but rewarding. You see people coming out to
support you. Zach was working as a veterinary surgeon in Nairobi in
2004 when he became the victim of a vicious car-jacking. The bullet
entered and it cut across my spine to decide. Things are happening,
and happening fast. Somebody in front of the bonnet, somebody
telling me to move and a guy shot. Kenya has one of the highest rates
of spinal injury cases in the world. Zack is hoping through his epic
journey he can raise enough money to build a dedicated rehabilitation
centre in Nairobi. He's already raised half a million pounds. His
target is two million. What's the traditional attitude to a disabled
person in Kenya? Unfortunately, when somebody has a disability at
home, people want to hide it. They think people have been cursed with
misfortune. All bewitched. They don't want to come muck. It becomes
quite a problem. We want to cut that stigma, this one of hiding
people. What do you know of the Paralympics? What do they mean in
Kenya? Unfortunately for us we just look at the Olympics and
immediately you say "para", people don't seem to have the hype. It's a
big challenge. Knowing these other Is this normal speed? Yes, this is
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 77 seconds
It is always pulling to the left Some 300 miles away in the
foothills of Mount Elgon, another young man is preparing to make the
trip of a lifetime - all the way to London to watch the Paralympics.
21-year-old Alex is in his final year at Bishop Okiring Secondary.
The school, which has produced several athletics champions, has
been taking part in an Olympic schools twinning project with the
BBC and British Council called World Class. After filming at the
school for World Class, we were so inspired by Alex's story we invited
him to visit London with his head- teacher to see what the Paralympics
are all about. It was one morning the teacher told me that we're
going to the Kisumu to apply for The journey is poignant, as Alex
had polio as a child and walks with a stick. He struggles around the
muddy tracks near his school and he has barely left his village before.
Today he is shopping for supplies for the trip with his head teacher.
You must be Alex. Yes. How are you? I feel like I know you, I have
watched your film. I'm very happy. Do you know why? Come on? I'm going
to London. I know that. And you got a pass port? Yes. It is a big
challenge? Can you see it. This is you. It is wonderful. You had to
get a birth certificate and all the forms filled in and now this is
yours. Yes. Very shiny. Alex was three years old when he contracted
polio. The virus left Alex's left leg deformed and his right arm with
little use. At the time, there was no access to the polio vaccine in
his village. If there had been it might have been a different story
for Alex. Kenya is currently polio- free, but there are still children
who haven't had the vaccine. Alex and I headed along to the Health
Centre in Kimilili, to meet some of them. As part of the latest health
drive, Martha and her team are aiming to innoculate 500 more
children over the next five days. One of those can do six or eight
children with one? 20 doses in one vial? OK. It has to be kept cool?
Cool all of the time. We mark on the left index finger with this pen.
So it has to go slightly above the skin. Alex helped mark each child's
finger to show they had the vaccine. Is they don't repeat it. When you
were young, you didn't have that innoculation. Yes. How does that
make you feel. If I had been given the vaccine, I think my life would
have been a different one. I would be somewhere some place working
as... And acquiring my own... My own needs. But as from now, because
things have gone like that... I'm afraid that maybe God has a purpose
over my life. What school, what is your dream? Your mum's farmer. You
have come from a very rural village. And a poor backgrounds, yes.
tell me after school, what is going to happen in in your life, what is
your dream? My dream in my life, I'm dreaming to be to be a lawyer.
That is my dream. Have you heard about the Paralympics? It is my
first time hearing about the After 48 hours travelling, and
Alex's first trip in an aeroplane, he arrived in London with his head
teacher. Alex and Naboth couldn't wait to see the city for themselves.
Alex, how was the flight? My flight was very nice! Now you're in London.
You like the look of it so far? We have decided the best way to see
London and understand the going if I and the history is one of these
buses to have a journey rounds. Thank you. This is the beginning of
the houses of Parliament. It looks like a cave. Like a cast snl Yes.
At the other end that is Big Ben, the clock. The famous clock. Wow!
That is great. With just a couple of days to go before the opening of
the Paralympic Games, there was one thing Alex wanted to do more than
ever - and that was to have a go at some Paralympic sports. Mark Hall
Sports club in Harlow runs wheelchair basketball for disabled
Neither I nor Alex had played before, and Alex seemed to be more
What is wrong with that? One of the club's star members is Anne Wafula.
Born in a village not far from Alex's home in Kenya, Anne also had
polio as a child. She went on to become the first East African to
compete in wheelchair racing at the Paralympics in Athens, and now
races for Great Britain. I don't want you to call yourself a victim.
You should look at yourself as a survivor. You have survived polio
to be here now. As a survivor, Alex, you should be looking for
opportunities, not sympathy from the community. Now you need to tell
your community that I am Alex and this is what I'm capable of, this
is what I do. So therefore, give me the opportunity and I will show you
what I can give to the community. This is swimming. Up that way is
basketball. Tonight we have got tickets to go into the stadium.
That white building there. Final think moment which Alex had been
waiting for. Fantastic. Before we go in, there is one person I want
you to meet. Who is that? Come this way. Henry. How are you this is
Matthew again. This is Alex. I don't think you have met Alex
before. What do you feel when you're competing? Do you feel like
you are so exhausted and tired. me tell you Alex it's a good
feeling when you're in such a big competition like the Paralympics
like now in London. What can you advise people with disability in
Kenya, because they're also suffering and yet we're enjoying is
here. What can your advise our friends who are disabled in Kenya.
Message I have always been giving to people with disabilities in
Kenya is that they need to accept themselves. They also need to not
feel shy about their disability. When you're open and when you have
a positive minds, people are willing to support and you must go
for your dream. Because you cannot see the way for success to come and
look for you and go for that success. And you work hard and you
keep focused and you... Then you have that determination and you
should not give up easily. May I wish you good luck in your marathon.
I will do my best. I will remember you when I will be running. Thank
you. Thank you. So Alex, two important things. One you will need
a ticket. Thank you. Second, I have got the camera to take some good
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 77 seconds
shots for your photo album. Let's It has been fantastic for us. To
Four-time Olympic gold medallist Matthew Pinsent travels to east Africa to look at the impact of the Paralympic Games in Kenya, and how disability is perceived there. He meets Henry Wanyoike - a blind runner who is captain of the Kenyan Paralympic team - along with paracyclist Ibrahim Wafula, and Zack Kimotho, who is travelling all the way from Nairobi to South Africa in his wheelchair to raise money to build a spinal rehabilitation centre in Kenya.
Matthew also catches up with Alex, a 21-year-old who is in his final year at school in Mount Elgon and who uses a stick to get around after suffering from polio as a child. Until recently, Alex had never heard of the Paralympics. But through the BBC schools project, World Class, he is leaving his village for the very first time to travel all the way to London to see the Paralympics for himself.