Please sponsor Alessandra Valle-Metaxas in the GNR!

Please support former St. Mary's student Alessandra Valle - Metaxas who is running the Great North Run in aid of the Bambisanani Partnership

JustGiving link:

Alessandra writes:

‘Sports have the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.’ (Nelson Mandela)

Sport and exercise has always been a key and fundamental part of my life whether its diving, swimming, athletics, fencing, netball, OCR, you name it, I’ll ‘volunteer as tribute’ (I’m always down for a game of Rounders). 

It’s taught me how to be part of a team, to be confident, a leader, passionate, determined and a fighter. I think that sport can do this for everyone and it doesn’t matter if you are a world class athlete or just someone that enjoys a kick about; sport is for everyone and bring us together.

With that being said, I hate running. Hate it. ‘But you do Obstacle Course’s all the time!’ I hear you proclaim. And that would be correct however, if you ask any of my lovely OCR pal’s whether I enjoy the running part of the OCR’s well… I know what they would say! I do however love a challenge and will always look for new ways to push myself and what better city to embark on my next challenge than my favourite city of Newcastle upon Tyne!

Having lived in Newcastle for 4 years, I’m so excited to be able to finally run this half marathon and cross that South Shields finish line! Sport and exercise are powerful and can help people achieve things they never knew they could and this is exactly what The Bambisanani Partnership does.

I was lucky enough to go to South Africa with The Bambisanani Partnership in 2011 and be part of the wonderful project which has only strengthened in me the belief that sport can bring out the best in everyone. I witnessed young adults lead a sports day with young primary school children, come out of their shells, lead with passion and defy anyone that says they can’t achieve their goals. 

The Bambisanani Partnership started in 2006 and is a unique collaboration developed by St. Mary’s Menston in Leeds, UK and Mnyakanya High School in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The partnership uses sport as a major catalyst to develop international understanding, education, health and leadership.

Mnyakanya High School is situated in the rural and remote Nkandla region of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The school, in the heart of traditional Zululand, was opened by Nelson Mandela in 2004 and is located in one of the most deprived areas of South Africa with one in three adults infected by HIV/AIDS, 90% unemployment and an adult illiteracy rate greater than 60%. The school serves a vast area and many students walk two hours to and from school each day. The area has many AIDS orphans. Class sizes are in excess of 60 and the school has very limited resources. 

The Partnership has grown so much since 2006 and I want to continue to support The Bambisanani Partnership and taking part in this physical challenge is the perfect way for me to be able to to help this charity grow and grow and continue its fantastic work.

If you want to learn more about the charity and their current fundraising goals, please do visit the charity website here >>>

13 miles running may not seem far for some, but for me, it’s going to be a tough looong road and so any help to get me over that finish line in September (and also any playlist recommendations!) will be greatly appreciated!

Ngiyabonga! (Thank you!)