2022 proved to be a watershed moment in the history of AAWA sportive, as the annual exclusive fundraising event by SJ, widened its reach across multiple sports, to raise in excess of £100,000, for the worthy cause of The Ali Asghar Water Appeal.
The Ali Asghar Water Appeal (AAWA) is a WF Aid project that runs throughout the year. For over ten years, the Ali Asghar Water Appeal has strived to provide better access to water for many water-scarce communities. This year, we aim to further build long-term sustainable water solutions across the world
In 2018, WF Aid formed a partnership with Stanmore Jafferys, that would broadly entail SJ hosting sportives to raise money and awareness for the AAWA appeal. In return, WF Aid would invest in SJ that will allow critical funding to reach grassroot levels across the club. This partnership has ensured successful funding in excess of the target set each year, and has allowed SJ to ensure that a lot of youth sports remain subsidised. With our commitment to each other unwavering, we look forward to many more years of a successful partnership.
For this year, the flagship project was a Desalination plant in Nzovoni, Kenya and the funding aimed at building a solar powered saline water desalination plant in the remote area of Nzavoni, Kenya to provide 2000 litres per hour of clean drinking water to over 350 families who currently walk more than 10k to access water. We are pleased to announce the plant opened on 14 February 2023, with our partners WF-AID attending the opening ceremony (see pictures below).
Having originally started with cycling as the main sportive, SJ widened the breathe to encompass different sportive across 5 weeks, ensuring that AAWA 2022 was the largest to date, attracting over 300 participants. The events included cycling, walking, and running, each with their own set of challenges, but overcome with determination, that is now synonymous with the SJ brand. Furthermore, AAWA 2022 was a year whereby we widened the net for collaboration, and we take this opportunity to thank Hyderi Nisa sports, and Balsall heath Cycling Club for their tremendous efforts and support, without whom the challenges we faced, would have been greater. Here is a brief overview on each of the Sportive held by SJ:
On 11 September 2022, SJ Running organised its first, fully-supported half marathon in conjunction with the 2022 AAWA Sportive. While the original plan had been for runners to participate in the Richmond Half Marathon as part of the AAWA Sportive, the passing of Her Majesty The Queen meant that this event got postponed. To avoid disappointing the AAWA participants who had trained hard for this event, SJ Running, with the support of SJHQ, took the prompt decision to organise their own half marathon within 48 hours!
32 runners, male and female, completed the half marathon which started and ended at Centenary Park in Kenton, Harrow. They were supported by around 20 volunteers playing different roles such as road marshals, food/water distributors etc.
While many personal records were broken that day, the overriding feeling from the participants was of breaking through glass ceilings. Some had overcome a huge amount mentally just to complete the Half. They were greeted by family members at the end, with a full on medal ceremony and presentation of finisher T-Shirts to add the icing on the cake of a memorable day.
Ladies 10K Run/Walk:
On the 27th of August, 2022, 120 ladies from SJ completed a 10k around Stanmore while a further 66 from Hyderi Nisa Sports completed their 10k in South London. The event was a huge success on many fronts, but in particular, some of the participants reported local people enquiring and showing an interest with respect to the purpose of the walk. You can read more from the participants view on this site:
Cycling has always been the cornerstone of the AAWA and whilst we have widened the participation across other sports, Cycling remains very much an integral part of the SJ. This year, in conjunction with Balsall heath cycling club, our cycling admin team made the decision to run the sportive in Birmingham.
This decision proved inspired as the sportive was received with great enthusiasm, across all areas. A total of 115 ladies and gents cyclists from Birmingham and Stanmore completed the challenging but rewarding challenge, and more importantly, ensured that we achieved our milestone we have set.
SUMMARY ROUND UP:
For any project to be successful, it requires a number of people and factors to come together, working mutually and selflessly for a greater cause.
Our sincere thanks go to Balsall Heath Cycling Club and Hyderi Nisa Sports for their efforts in collaborating the events with SJ. Inshallah, we look forward to working together in the future.
For all the volunteers, marshals, administrators and helpers, no amount of thanks would be enough, but suffice to say, your reward is with Allah (SAW).
On behalf of the whole of Stanmore Jafferys, we would like to thank our sponsors, and in particular Tender Care Day Nursery, who covered all the catering for the ladies 10K.
The backbone of any organisation is the members, and we thank each and every one of you that has donated towards this worthy cause. We look forward to fund raising together again next year.
The success of SJ is rooted in our relationship with Hujjat Stanmore. They have always been our pillar, and AAWA 2022 would not have been the success it was without their unwavering support. On behalf of the whole of SJ, we sincerely thank you for all your help.
Finally, and not the least, we would like to acknowledge the opportunity given to us by WF Aid through our partnership. The opportunity that you have granted us has allowed our club to continue to flourish, yet give the shade of the opportunity to give Charity in the name of Allah (SAW). This potent combination can only go from strength to strength.
Inshallah, with the mercy of the almighty, we look forward to AAWA 2023.