Grenadians Jerry Bascombe, Dennis Mason and Anderson Simon, will take part in the TCS New York Marathon on Sunday 2 November. They will navigate the 26.2 mile run, through five boroughs and over five bridges, to raise funds for the charity, reachwithin (formerly known as Reach Grenada), which supports vulnerable Grenadian children and their caregivers.
The race is reputedly a physically gruelling experience for seasoned runners. Jerry, Dennis and Anderson face an additional hurdle in that, as novice marathon runners, they have chosen to tackle one of the hardest races in the world. This will be a test of both the mind and body, as they push themselves to the limit, all to support a cause they feel passionately about.
“We are running for the children of Grenada,” says Jerry, a reachwithin Youth Programme Coordinator and former care worker at Father Mallaghan’s Home for Boys in St Mark. “The money we raise will help us to continue to deliver important, and much needed, coping skills training to children in care homes across the Island. What makes us unique is we also deliver training in parenting skills to their caregivers.”
“Some people may think we are crazy to take up this challenge, considering none of us have ever run the distance required, but to us it makes absolute sense. We are demonstrating our passion for the well-being of Grenadian children who are, after all, our future. We believe that every child has the right to a safe and nurturing upbringing, especially those that have suffered adversity in their young lives. I hope people are moved and inspired by what we are doing and support our cause. Every little helps, no matter how small.”
Dennis nods his head in agreement. Raised in Father Mallaghan’s Home for Boys, Dennis benefited from some of the life-skills programmes delivered by the US based charity. “reachwithin has had a positive impact on my life and allowed me to shape my life for the better,” he saysHe left the care home four years ago and now works for a local supermarket, but continues to volunteer as a reachwithin mentor.
“reachwithin introduced me to a range of coping skills and practices that helped to release pent up anger and resentment within me, skills that enabled me to examine and regulate my behaviour. They were that missing cog in my life and so it is my pleasure to give back. Besides raising the much needed funds, I hope my participation will help inspire the kids in the homes. I am the perfect example that if you think positive and live your life in a positive manner, you can go on to achieves great things.” Dennis once trained alongside Grenadian Olympic Gold Medalist, Kirani James, when they both belonged to the Grenada Speedzone Athletic Team a few years ago. He uses some of the tips picked up in those sessions to prepare himself for the biggest race of his life.
Anderson Simon, Director of the Child Protection Agency in Grenada, is an avid supporter of reachwithin training programmes and courses and he has very kindly agreed to help raise funds for the six-year-old charity. Those eager to show their support can do so through the links below: