ROOP - Run Out Of Poverty
The charity that we have elected to support moving forward is Run Out of Poverty (ROOP). The charity is an initiative of and is supported by Rotary Australia, Project No. 61-2016-17.
ROOP is based in Davao City, capital of the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. Davao is the 3rd largest city in the Philippines and is the home of current Philippines’ President, Mr. Rodrigo Duterte.
The purpose of ROOP is to coach underprivileged children of Davao City, interested in running, so that they can achieve a standard sufficient to qualify for a University Track and Field Scholarship. Although only 12 months into the program, it is already showing a huge improvement in running performances. However, many of the children still run barefoot and the whole program needs funds for the kid’s transport to training and to pay the part-time coaches, most of whom are teachers within the Education system.
The founders of ROOP were Australians Tony Benson and his now deceased wife Raylene. Tony is a former Olympian and has coached or assisted more than 3000 athletes and triathletes of all ages and abilities from school level to the Olympics and World Championships over a period spanning 50 years. He was the first coach of, and is a life long associate of Steve Moneghetti, Race Patron of GC100.
Tony had a very successful stint in the Philippines in the period 1979 to 1983 as National Coach of the Philippines, with the Gintong Alay program. At the time of Tony’s appointment, the Philippines was ranked 29th in Asia and last in South East Asia. By the time he left some four years later the Philippines had reached 6th place in Asia, 1st in South East Asia, produced South East Asian and Asian champions and record holders as well as Olympians.
It is hoped to emulate that success with the ROOP program.
Tony’s local Project Manager and Coaching Director is Australian Peter McCormack, a former student of Tony's. Peter is a resident of Davao City who managed to break 2 minutes for 800 metres as a 15 YO and who in later years as a part time athlete can boast a marathon PB of 2:18 at his first and only attempt.
Gold Coast 100 event organiser Ian Cornelius, is also a resident of Davao City and is closely connected with the ROOP program, in an administrative capacity.
Donations are tax deductible and can be made through Gold Coast 100 as part of the event entry process. Donors are encouraged to enter an event but it is by no means essential. The shortest option is 10 kms which is available to both runners and walkers.