© Richard Bullock
At the age of eleven, Lydia Philip fled harrowing conditions in war-torn South Sudan with her father and six siblings after her village was burned down and her mother abducted. After arriving as a refugee in Kenya, her talent for running 400m was spotted by the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation (run by Kenyan former elite runner, Tegla Loroupe) leading Lydia to join the Athlete Refugee Team, a collective of international refugee athletes competing under one banner.
As a result, Lydia’s life changed completely. Now 17, she’s represented the team in the U18 Athletics World Championships, and earns a small amount of pocket money which she divides amongst her family for food and school items.
Honest, moving and inspiring, I’m humbled that Lydia has shared her story with me in her own words.
A huge thank you to On, sponsors of the Athlete Refugee Team in Kenya, for making this happen.