After 4 amazing years teaching at BIS I have handed my notice in so that I can complete my 2200km charity run challenge. On my penultimate day at school, Thursday 27th July, I hosted Namrunsnam Day at the British International School, HCMC, in order to introduce my challenge to children, staff and parents.
The entire school community were invited to wear sports kit or come dressed as their favourite sports person. My day started up on the stage on the sports field at the junior campus where I was able to share my challenge with the kids and how they can get involved. I have taught many of the children throughout my years at BIS and was blown away by their excitement for my cause. Two of my chosen charities, Thien Phuc Orphange and Friends for Street Children are linked to the junior campus and most of the children will have either visited the children at the centres, hosted events or attended clubs with the kids that will be helped by the money raised through my adventure. After pulling some heart strings I led 800+ children and staff in a sweat inducing warm up to Eye of the Tiger. Supported my some of my amazing colleagues in their fluro sports wear and sweat bands. Us teachers, love the spotlight! Once everyone was warmed up I sent class by class to run a lap of the field before returning to their classes where they would be completing activities and additional challenges relating to namrunsnam. It was awesome to see the smiling faces of hundreds of kids and adults from the community that I have called home for the past four years. I felt a huge boost of confidence that we are going to make a real difference to so many vunerable kids. I completed my lap with Deputy Head, Chris McKelvie, who has been an absolute legend with his support of my challenge and ensuring the kids get involved as much as possible.
All drone video and photos were supplied by the talented Matt Payne, check out his instagram @mattyp7 and website here: http://www.imagesbymattpayne.com
After leaving the junior campus I ran the whopping 400m down to the infant campus, where I have spent my final year teaching in Year 2 (6 and 7 year olds). I was again given the opportunity to introduce my challenge to the children in an assembly and do some warm up dancing with them. All kids at this campus have or will have the opportunity to enjoy playdates with the Thien Phuc children. This is such a valuable experience for our students and they always impress me with their ability to look past any physical issues or language barriers and just play. It’s an ability many of us as adults find difficult.
For the remainder of the day, each class undertook challenges or activities relating to health and wellbeing. I challenged my amazing class to stair climbing where they had 15 minutes to climb the 3 flights of stairs to the top floor and back again as many times as possible. I was impressed by the mental strength of some of my kids. Some found this activity challenging and were on the verge of giving up many times. I saw the determination in their eyes as they took another swig of water, gritted their teeth and heading up the stairs again. I think the winning number of climbs was 11 but I do know that every single one of my kids pushed themselves as much as they could. Another challenge was the plank challenge. The class split themselves into their house team and competed against the other house for the longest cumulative plank held by one house. The teamwork, support, love and respect that every children showed one another was awesome!
In the afternoon the whole of Year 2 had a huge golden time with each activity relating back to namrunsnam day. The children got to choose 3 activities to participate in, including: bootcamp, yoga, mindfulness colouring, just dance, team games and meditation. The buzz I could feel when I walked into each classroom was awesome. Kids coming up to me and asking questions, giving me tips and wanting to know more about the run.
I have been particularly honoured to have been approached my many of our wonderful Vietnamese teaching assistants offering me places to stay with their friends and family down the length of the country.
With the generosity of the BIS community, we raised an unbelievable £2040 for the namrunsnam charities.
I’m so excited to begin this adventure, just need my ankle to fix quicker so I can get back out there pounding the pavements.