We found an amazing youth running club in Latvia and connected with Head Coach Austris Āboliņš to tell us about the school and running club called Asais. This their website.
FROM COACH AUSTRIS:
I’ll tell a short story about my club Asais. I’m a teacher of PE in Drabesi Boarding School. In year 2006 I was awarded as a Teacher of the Year in LATVIA. When the big world economical crisis began it was big crisis in Latvia’s schools, too. Then it was impossible get some necessary equipment or simply go to a race. On September 12 (2008) was founded our sports club Asais (Ašais)
It was new beginning!
For a NGO (non-governmental organization) it is much easier to get supporters etc.
Last four springs we had a runners camps in Tatry and Alps, we can pay for all competitions and go to indoor track to do a practice. Some few weeks ago we got an Opel’s bus for nine persons! And now we can be really independent!
I’m a coach and manager in one person in my club!
This is short story of my club! About the school and kids in my club.
In this school, pupils do not come from affluent families. Government pays for these kids’ education, food and living at school from Monday till Friday.
But my club is not just these kids, but also kids from the nearest city, Cesis.
My mission is to manage money for running shoes, track suits etc. Kids or parents don’t pay anything.
About my sports system at Drabesi Boarding School; As a totally sports lover some 21 years ago, I started working in this school. My first target was try to help, as much as I can, my pupils fall in love with sports and an active lifestyle. Since year 1995 I organize about 20 different sports activities in my school: Ice hockey (we practice it in PE lessons, too), biathlon, basketball, strongman, cross country running, track and field, beach volleyball, soccer, arm wrestling, rope jumping, gymnastic, short treck (fast skiing), dancing, kettlebell and some other. And we do not have some modern facilities of sport. We don’t have stadium etc. We have just one small “room” for sporting (15x9m) and some outdoor places where we can practice sports. For Ice hockey we play on self made ice etc. But my kids really love sports! Not all of them, but most of them! Then we count points from each competition (4 points for winner, 3p-2pl., 2p-3pl., 1p – others) and on January awarding SPORTSMAN of a year for boys and girls (last award was twentieth.
Songs during the awards ceremony
Second thing what we do is practice for track and field in Sports Club Ašais (Ašais) . Main focus is middle distances. I really love the drama of 800m and 1500m. And I try to teach my runners how great can be this battle for every second and battle against laziness. It looks like they really love what they do!
This is 7th season of sports club and we have 4 Youth Latvia’s champions in middle distances and about 8 championships medals. Our best runner Inese Avsejeva competed in European Youth Olympic festival some years ago. Kristians Potasovs last summer competed in the championship of Baltic States and got bronze.
But we still dream big dreams. And I really believe that someday biggest part of Latvia’s team middle distance runners will be my runners! I know it will be!
I have very talented young runners:
Viktorija Jarullina, 11 years young – like long sprints (300m = 49,4 indoor) and 600m = 1:55 indoor. Could be great in 400m/800m in future!
Parsla Purina (13), absolutely talented girl – youth U14 group champion in 1000m (3:15). Now growing very fast and we practice very carefully. I’m sure she could be an Olympian in the future!
Kristians Potasovs (15), too, very talented. PB indoor = 600m = 1:32, 800m = 2:11, 1000m = 2:50. He is really in love with running!
And I have some more great kids, who love running!
But we don’t just do running. We don’t eat fast food and don’t drink Cola! No one! We like go to the movies and celebrate birthdays of team kids. We love go to mountains once in a year. And it is not just running camp. It is like meditation – we speak about life, read books, take a tours around!
We really feel like a family!
I really pretty like middle distances – 800m -1500m. I like drama of those runs!! And I like, that you should be thinking fast, should take decision in a second. I REALLY ENJOY 800m and 1500m races!
We have some 5K and 10K races in spring and autumn. They are really enjoying these competitions. Last year we got 77 medals!!! But we are very small sports club. I have about 15 kids. We have not stadium or indoor track. We practice like Kenyans runners (haha).
My boys got second place in Nordea Riga’s marathon (biggest in North Europe, with bronze label of IAAF) 10K teams competition between……men’s teams!
Our sport’s year 2014!
Viktorija Jarullina on a track - 600m run
Kristians Potasovs in Tartu, Estonia. Second in 800m
Saaremaa Kolme Päeva Jooks 2014
Mission ALPS’14 (our last camp)
SPORTS CLUB AŠAIS