They are taking part in theThames Meander marathononSaturday 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!”
Lives Not Knivestackles 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.
If you’re interested in getting involved in a running club in H&F, check out theThames Valley Harriers. The club – based in Wormwood Scrubs – is a home for athletes of all abilities.