Fulham teachers run for a great cause

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Feb 28 2022


Two PE teachers at Fulham Cross Academy are attempting their first marathons for a good cause this month.

Nessir Emadi and Tariq Kavanagh, who work on improving fitness among students at the co-ed secondary school in Kingwood Road, Fulham, will raise money for the charity Lives Not Knives.

Nessir, 43, has been at the school for 16 years... and actually taught Tariq, 23, a former pupil and head boy, who returned to the academy as a PE teacher two years ago and is now Head of PE.

The charity is dear to both of them, as they each know young people who have died as a result of stabbing.

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They are taking part in the Thames Meander marathon on Saturday 12 March, following the river towpath from Kingston, via Richmond to Barnes.

“Lives Not Knives is a youth-led charity for young people in London which works to prevent knife crime and stop youth violence and antisocial behaviour,” explained Tariq. “Sadly we’ve both experienced first-hand the effects knife violence can have in our communities.”

They have been training every week after school in parks in Hammersmith & Fulham, doing a couple of 13-mile half-marathon runs, following a schedule designed for first-timers.

“Training’s been going well,” said Nessir, who said the idea came about when academy head Alan Jones challenged staff to push their boundaries. “I thought we’d try a 10k or half marathon, but Tariq went a bit overboard and said we’d do a marathon! But I am now looking forward to it!”

The pair are still looking for support on their way to a fundraising target of £1,000.

Lives Not Knives tackles school exclusions and youth violence by engaging with disadvantaged young people aged nine to 14 via one-to-one mentoring, roadshows, after-school clubs and summer activities. It was founded in 2007 in response to a rise in gang culture in London.

Get active?

If you’re interested in getting involved in a running club in H&F, check out the Thames Valley Harriers. The club – based in Wormwood Scrubs – is a home for athletes of all abilities.

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