Sydney Russell students take part in £2k 'No Brainer Challenge'

Gavin Home outside Sydney Russell School

The No Brainer Challenge is the idea of Sydney Russell School PE teacher Gavin Home. - Credit: Gavin Home

A school's staff and students are clocking up kilometres to highlight the importance of good mental health.

The No Brainer Challenge is the idea of Sydney Russell School PE teacher Gavin Home. It encourages participants to walk, jog or run as many kilometres as possible this month.

The aim is to highlight how people are more capable of achieving difficult goals than they think. So far 54 students and staff have completed a combined total of more than 325km per day.

Year 7 pupil, Maryfaith Olayiwole, said: "I'm completing this challenge because I know how well it could benefit our community.

"The challenge helps me during lockdown because it’s something to keep me motivated. It's something that I can look forward to every day."

Wellbeing wednesday event

Sydney Russell staff have also put together 'Wellbeing Wednesdays' to lift pupils' spirits in lockdown. - Credit: Sydney Russell School


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Roman Peregudov, in Year 11, said: "I think in society as a whole, men’s mental health tends to be neglected.

"From my own experience of having no one to turn to during hard times, it gets quite lonely and frightening.

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"For me, having someone understand your struggles and pain allows you to feel at ease although you’re very much under pressure."

To boost motivation, the secondary has a GoFundMe page raising money for mental health charity Mind. In four days, £621 has been raised towards a £2,000 target.

Syeda Ali, also in Year 11, welcomed the challenge for providing a break from time in front of a computer screen.

She said: "We are living in an unprecedented time and with everything that is occurring at this moment, it has really taken its toll on the mental health of so many people.

"Carrying out physical activity is a great way to compensate for the prolonged screen time we face each day because of online schooling.

"It helps alleviate the monotony of everyday life in lockdown and is a good way to experiment to find activities you enjoy, whether that is yoga, running, walking or cycling.

"Exercise is something I've learned to value more since the beginning of the pandemic. Not only is it important for the maintenance of good physical health, but it is also necessary for one's mental health," she added.

To donate visit gofundme.com/f/mr-homes-no-brainer-challenge

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