- Sunday the 18th of December has scheduled in the beautiful streets of Asmara an open marathon, Maekel Marathon, and to honor the ‘day of running’ we thought we’d bring the Eritrean Athletics National Team Head Coach.
- He says that coaching is all about identifying talents and engineer ways for their enhancement, and his works: his rather short but successful soccer coaching followed by his still current coaching in athletics, indeed do prove him right.
- Livingstone Abraham has a ceaseless passion and dedication of making the best out of the athletes he trains and respects.
- -Upbringing and Coaching
I was born towards the end of 1973 in kuluku around Barentu. After my academic studies I joined the TTI College and studied teaching pedagogy for two years and during summer lesson I was also taking courses on physical education. Nevertheless, my inspirations for sports starts from the time when I was a student; I was participating in athletics and soccer.
- -IAAF Courses……
The IAAF system is a kind of complicated to be explained in few words. It requires much time and potential to be part of the course. Besides that, there is only slight chance of joining as the whole course is sponsored by IAAF. So I first went to Kenya after taking level one courses in Eritrea in 2006.
I chose to study the field of middle and length distance considering our geographical situation. I was the youngest to take the course yet it wasn’t challenging for me, I completed level 5 with a good score and got a diploma from Kenya University. After that I attended Hungary’s TF University of Sports and again I completed my courses with a satisfying result.
- -Memories of your former club Setit
Truthfully speaking, the club is the base from where I learned to be a good coach and to eventually work hard. Working there didn’t feel new to me at all even when I was actually new, it was a great opportunity for me to apply what I had learned. I met great athletes who were dedicated to their goals, whom trough their enthusiasm, allowed me to upgrade my coaching abilities. I definitely cherished the time we had as a team.
- -Your first trip with the National Team
It was in that I traveled outside of Eritrea along with the national team. Fortunately for us three of our athletes came back with medals! It was not an easy contest as there were very highly profiled athletes there. However, our guys managed to do well and win; it was a very unique moment for me as a coach One of them was Nazret, now my wife, she won a gold medal on her first trip scoring encouraging results.
Generally speaking the athletes were extremely disciplined and committed and as easy for me as a coach to train them.
- -You are well known for your training abilities even to athletes whom had previously worked with other coaches for a long time. How do you manage it?
Well, it is my job when they join the national team. I was a teacher until 2004 before becoming a coach, I think I can say that my experience as teacher boasted my communication skills.
- -What about the Olympics…
What makes it thrilling is that the Olympics is a destiny for an athlete, meaning, it is an opportunity for an athlete to compete with dignity and faculty. During the Olympics different countries bring their best sports’ men and women athletes to compete, so technically the one that wins in the race is the world’s top best, so the Olympics are just overly stimulating. There were times in which the national team would not bring home a medal but still make it in the top ten, and even this, is an honor.
- -When was your first?
My first Olympics you mean? My very first entry was in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
- -Which athletes do you cherish most?
Teklit Tewedebrhan, Chuchu Giorgio and Haice Wolday. These are athletes that I coached from the start and they are the reason why I wanted to coach more, they inspired me a lot to be better at what I do. Chuchu was only 15 years old when he first came in, I knew I could expect a lot from him. And from female athletes, Nazret, has a big place in my heart; she works hard and is extremely committed towards achieving her goals.
- -Tell me something about your wife
Nazret was young when I first started coaching her. She worked hard to become the good athlete that she is now, she started competing at the 200 meters catagory, then 400 meters and now she races for 10000 meters and half marathons as well, she has broken many records. In 2004 we actually were convinced that she would get us a medal but that year we simply remained at the top 10. She has participated and won in numerous races.
- -Okay any last words?
Coaching means identifying one’s aptitude and eventually developing it. My job allowed me to meet countless youth with big dreams and ambitions and it is a pleasure every time, I will always be grateful. And as a coach I would like to remind athletes that they need to analyze their strength and work hard to bring the best out of what they have.
- -Thank you so much for your time.