School pupils, staff ‘row their way to South Africa’ for charity

The community at the Dubai British School try to cover a distance of 6,400 kilometres as part of a charity project the school will help with in July.

From left: Student Tahia Marshall; Sam Truman, from Tamweel central office; and Dubai British School principal Mark Ford take part in the DBS driathlon on May 12, 2016, to raise money for a voluntary school project in South Africa, called I Am Water Foundation. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
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DUBAI// A school community has been rowing, cycling and running as part of a challenge to reach an equivalent distance of 6,400km.

For the last week staff, pupils and parents at Dubai British School (DBS) in Emirates Hills have been trying to make the distance to raise awareness of a conservation charity project in South Africa in July.

“We chose 6,400km as that is the distance from Dubai to South Africa, and that is where we will be doing some voluntary work,” said Amanda Holt, the school’s parent relation officer.

“The Driathlon challenge is a chance to bring together our positive and strong community at DBS.”

A team made up of members of the schools Sixth Form along with staff will be taking part in conservation work for the “I Am Water Foundation.”

The DBS team will collect data and observing the local environments to help make improvements within places like Sodwana Bay and Kruger Park.

It follows on from a similar cycle challenge held last year, which proved to be a success and thanks to the support of Fitness First Meadows they have now taken it a step further.

This year it involves competitions and challenges over three disciplines – rowing, cycling and running.

Students and staff can achieve awards by completing all three over set distances, or choose a freestyle discipline, said Ms Holt.

“It also promotes a healthy lifestyle and creates competitions between students and staff.

“We have also opened up the challenge to the local community, inviting parents and nearby residents to participate.”

The challenge has struck a chord with pupils who have been taking part all week.

“It is not just one thing, it is cycling, rowing and running, and it’s actually really hard” Fedor Belov, aged nine from Russia, in Year 4.

“It is great because Secondary students are helping people in need. I think it makes you a better person” Aaron Burke, nine from Ireland, Year 4

“The challenge is making you push yourself, and it is fun” Jack White, also aged nine and from Ireland, Year 4

“Really fun but extremely hard” Maxine Murphy, 14 from South Africa, Year 9

“It’s enjoyable to do something different” Brandon Good-year Day, a Sixth Form student aged 17 from the UK.

The DBS Driathlon took place from May 8 to May 12.