From education to employment

Mussie’s long journey to athletic success

Mussie Kassa, a student at Tameside College is on the road to national, and possibly Olympic success after qualifying for the Association of Colleges national championships in cross country running.

However, Mussie hasn’t always been on the path to becoming a professional athlete. Originally from Eritrea in north east Africa, he has overcome many challenges to get to where he is today.

After leaving the country with his friend aged 15 years old and travelling through Sudan, Libya, the Sahara desert and then across the Mediterranean sea to the UK, he was placed with a foster family in Glossop near Manchester.

Whilst studying at Glossopdale Community College his teachers and friends noticed his natural talent for running and he was encouraged to join East Cheshire Harriers running club. Now he wants to turn that talent into a career and is studying towards a level two course in sports alongside his passion for running.

With the help of staff at Tameside College, he will now take part in the AoC national championships in April 2019 and the north of England league division.

Mussie could eventually qualify for selection by the British Athletics organisation to compete in international competitions including the Olympics.

Mussie, said: “My aim is to follow in the footsteps of other famous Eritrean runners who have gone on to achieve international success. If you believe in something and you have a plan, you can do it.”

“This country, the college and my friends have changed my life and I have learnt so much here. In Eritrea we had to walk hours just to go to school and nobody ran for sport or fun, but here I get all the help I need to succeed. Overall the college has been a big part of my journey and I want to put everything in to representing them and thanking them for giving me this opportunity.”

Luke Podmore, enrichment officer at Tameside College, said:

“Mussie is a fantastic student who has one of the best attitudes I have seen. From where he has come from and to where he is now, as a young man finding his way in his life. It is one of the most rewarding journeys I have been involved in and I am so happy to be able to give Mussie the stage to show others how talented he is. We strive to give all learners the opportunity to showcase their talents whilst at college and this is a prime example of a student realising his potential.”

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