Pupils and parents stage marathon Zumba Zambiathon

Pupils and parents stage marathon Zumba Zambiathon

6th May 2014


MOVERS and shakers have taken to the floor to help raise funds for an African expedition in a marathon Zumba Zambiathon.

Parents, students and friends of Bede Academy, Blyth, took part in a sponsored event to raise money to help orphans affected by Aids/HIV in Zambia.

Six students from Bede – Joseph Woods, Abigail Barclay, Chelsea Hilbert, Jamie Maughan, Michael Germany and Bethany Henderson – will join friends from their sister schools in the Emmanuel Schools Foundation on a working trip to Chengelo, in Zambia, in July.

The teenagers will also provide home-based care to the elderly and take part in building projects.

Allison Griffin-Maughan, who organised the Zumba event, said: “My son Jamie is one of the students from Bede who will be travelling to Zambia in the summer.

“When I came into the academy to find out more about what the expedition would involve I was really moved by the footage I saw of the orphanages in Zambia and wanted to do something extra to help.

“I go to a Zumba class each week with my friend Lynn Kutyla and we both thought it would be a great idea to organise a marathon class to raise additional funds that could be used to help the orphanages directly.”

More than 50 people turned up to exercise to the sounds of salsa, led by Joanne Towers, who runs a weekly Zumba class at the Isabella Community Centre, Blyth, assisted by 11 year-old Erin Kutyla.

Fresh fruit and water to help sustain the dancers during their two hour marathon were supplied free of charge by Bobby’s Fish and Chip Shop, Blyth.

Sweet treats on sale after the event were donated by Jucylicious Cakes, of Blyth, and friends of the academy Shelly Tilmouth, Julie Ogle and Donna Maughan.

“We’ve had great support for the whole event and hope to raise in excess of £500,” said Allison.

“All the money will go directly into buying things which the students can take out with them for the orphans such as pencils, pens, crayons, football tops and small toys.”

The Bede Academy trip to Zambia follows a similar expedition last year where students stayed in traditional huts, sampled local food and learned some of the local Bemba language.

“I think it will be a life changing experience,” said Jamie Maughan, 16, of Blyth.

“I’ve never been anywhere like this before and it will be completely out of my comfort zone but it will be really good to see a whole new culture and be able to help other people who are less fortunate than ourselves.”

Student Abigail Barclay, 17, of Blyth, added: “I think it will be a very emotional trip and it will be hard seeing all the poverty and the orphans.

“The Zambiathon has been a great idea and the money raised will hopefully make a big difference to the lives of the children we meet.”

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