An experienced amateur athlete who once ‘hated running’ and turned his life around through competing in 10 marathons worldwide after a challenging leg injury, is urging people to donate to his vital Big Fun Run 5k (3.1 mile) fundraising effort for our service this weekend (Sunday 20 October 2019).
Firs Farm Primary School sports coach Shakil Miah will be tackling the Victoria Park-based course in Bow in aid of our disability exercise service - which is inner London’s only remaining disabilities and long-term health conditions charity gym - hoping to raise up to £1,000.
Recovering Through Running
Shakil, who also competed in the Virgin Money London Marathon for Ability Bow in April, was left feeling in despair after experiencing a serious knee ligament injury in a charity football tournament in July last year; which then left him unable to play football.
But the inspiring 30-year-old who lives near Bromley-by-Bow underground station, used his educational training in sports and fitness - including a sports science degree at the University of East London - to find running and use it to rebuild his physical and mental health.
“Running - especially for Ability Bow - has changed my life completely and has given me a new focus in life and I’d urge anyone to run for this incredible charity,” Shakil says.
Shakil adds: “Since I ran my first Adidas 10k (6.2 miles) event, I built my hunger for running half marathons all over the world - including Berlin, Bosnia, Brussels, Cardiff and two in Morocco - and when I found Ability Bow, I was able to achieve my dream of running the London Marathon.”
Shakil helped to raise £1,350 for us in this year's marathon and will also be supporting the gym - who provide one-to-one exercise support for people with conditions ranging from musculoskeletal challenges, strokes, mental health or cerebral palsy - by raising funds next March in the Tokyo Marathon.
The keen football fan - who also regularly watches local side West Ham United, added: “What’s most amazing about running for Ability Bow - including in the Big Fun Run on the 20 October - is they really care for people locally".
Shakil says: “While there’s many amazing globally-focused charities, you sometimes forget the impact of those living nearby; and Ability Bow is the only gym of its kind working to help people with all sorts of barriers in life and they’ve helped changed my life when I’ve been down too through supporting me and touching my heart so much.
“So please do all you can to sign up for the Big Fun Run, get involved as a marshal and come and cheer for the team; it’s fun, friendly and really worth it."
Tackling It Together
Ability Bow Director and Founder, Victoria Kent, said: “Shakil and our Big Fun Run team really highlight what you can do by using exercise to turn your life around.
“Given our pressing need for funding to continue the vital we work do for the disabled community in Tower Hamlets - including needing people to pledge as part of our ongoing crowdfunding campaign for a new one-to-one service - his commitment to fundraising for us is truly inspiring and we really urge everyone to get behind Shakil and our fantastic fun run team.”
Helping 400 disabled people every year into exercise, Ability Bow - based adjacent to Roman Road Market and located within St Paul’s Church near Old Ford - has supported more than 4,000 people to exercise since forming in 2006.
Donate to Shakil
To donate to Shakil's Big Fun Run fundraising campaign:
To run, walk or jog for us in the inclusive and social Big Fun Run on Sunday 20 October - with entry costs ranging from just £17-£20 and people being encouraged to raise around £100 each - you can:
You can also sign up on the day at the event start/finish point in Victoria Park, Bow from 10:30am-11am (again, costs will be between £17 and £20 on the day)
**If you would like to sign up on the day at the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for a paper sponsorship form - or help on how to set up an online donations page - now**
Thank you and see you there!