“Maryam is a teacher who has lived in Dubai for about 14 years. I’m currently a student at Bath Uni, and having spent some time in Dubai during my gap year, returned in April to undertake an architecture placement.
We’re both very much into adventures and sport, and have travelled all over the world together white water rafting, bungee jumping, zip-lining and doing other crazy feats just for fun. We’ve just returned from South Africa, and it seemed only fitting that we support Friend of Edusport in light of our African adventure.
The event really stemmed from the Development Day in Bath. I’d been to Zambia in 2008 and seen charities like Grassroots at work. It really is amazing what education through sport can achieve, and this is definitely close to our hearts.
The work of FOE is truly magnificent. Since the Development Day I’ve taken a great interest in the progress of the charity’s work. Being such a small organisation it is really obvious to see that every pound is put to incredible use and that's one of the reasons we thought it the perfect charity to support.
Although originally I was very keen to plan a Go Sisters Dubai (and watch this space for the future...) we just didn’t have the right resources available this year. So instead, we tried to come up with an event that was both extremely challenging and also something that neither of us had done. Running up a big tower seemed like a perfectly fitting challenge for Dubai!”
The girls will be pushed to their limits – not only do they have to scale 64 flights of stairs and make it back down again – but the stairwells aren’t air-conditioned! Despite the intense heat, securing the Al Mas Tower for the event is quite a coup. It is almost double the height of every other tower in the surrounding JLT Development, and sits at the very heart of the other 70-odd towers.
It is incredibly difficult to get security clearance to use tower stairwells for anything other than running from a fire, but through her work at the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, the Master Developers of the JLT Development, Sophie has managed to pull a few strings.
So how are the girls feeling about the challenge?
“I fully expect that after the 64-floor run, one of us with be carrying the other by the time we reach the top. We’ll be running down too, because going up just isn’t interesting enough. We've been training virtually every day for the past 3 weeks since we returned from South Africa. Training has involved lots of running, lots of stair climbing (making full use of the 40 storey towers that a lot of friends live in!) and also playing football of course.
It will be worth it though – we’ve been attracting quite a bit of media attention, and have just done an interview for Gulf News. There’s also going to be an article in the JLT Times which is a newsletter for all developers and residents of the Jumeirah Lakes Towers development (home to my office and the Al Mas Tower), so we're hoping the charity will get a lot of coverage out here. Fingers crossed, we may reach our target of £640 or even surpass it!”
If you’d like to support the girls, you can do so on their JustGiving site here.