Bonita Norris, a Play for Change Ambassador, mountaineer and the youngest person in the world to have reached the summit of Everest and the North Pole, speaks in front of 100 young girls from the Play for Change Slam Dunk programme.
Play for Change, the charity aiming to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children through the power of sport, hosts the inspiring event as part of the Slam Dunk programme. Over 100 girls from schools in Wandsworth and Brent came together to listen to Bonita’s exceptional talk and share a game of basketball.
The Slam Dunk programme is delivered in some of the most disadvantaged communities across London using basketball as a hook to deliver life skills and inspirational workshops.
Bonita, standing in front of the young girls says ‘we should all aim ridiculously high in life’. Bonita tells her story of coming from a small town with few opportunities, and 2 years after attending a lecture about Mount Everest she summited the world’s highest mountain at the age of 22, making her the youngest person to do so.
‘When I push myself the most and I am out side of my comfort zone, that’s when the most amazing things happen’, says Bonita, training 4 hours a day for her next trip up K2 which is the second highest mountain in the world although widely perceived to be a harder and more dangerous climb
One of the female participants aged 13 spoke about the Slam Dunk Programme, ‘It’s not only for having fun, you can exercise with it, meet new people and learn about yourself’ She continues ‘I learnt from Bonita that when times get hard to keep pushing yourself, like right now I have so many exams but if I keep revising then I know I’ll get there in the end.’
Bonita Norris says ‘Being an Ambassador for Play for Change is such a huge honour. Sport changed my life and I’d love for that to be universal for anyone to be able to work their way out of any hardships. With Play for Change I know I can make a difference and I would love to see young girls having their confidence and life skills built through doing sport and realising what it can do for them.’
Louisa MacDonald, Programme and Events Co-ordinator, says ‘Bonita Norris is an empowering woman and the perfect Ambassador for Play for Change, her achievements have the power to inspire others. I admire her determination and her amazing ability to set goals. She is a superb role model for the young people we are working with, Play for Change looks forward to our future with Bonita.’
Notes to editors:
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Play for Change is dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable children through the power of sport. At PFC we want all children, no matter what their background, to be equipped with the necessary life skills for a brighter future. We believe that sport can play a significant role in a child’s social cognitive, emotional and physical development, especially for those who have not had the best start in life. We want all children around the world to be able to play in safe and stimulating environments so they can thrive as individuals. PFC funds play activities and team sports with the expertise of local partners. This empowers children to live productive, independent lives.
Bonita Norris is the youngest person ever to have reached both the summit of Mount Everest and the North Pole. She has been on 5 Himalayan expeditions, and led teams to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. She loves the outdoors and sport is a huge part of her life. Today, bonita works as a TV presenter for Red Bull, and founded her own travel company, RocUp Holidays. Bonita is currently training for her next big Himalayan expedition in 2016.
To follow Bonita on her adventures, visit: http://bonitanorris.blogspot.co.uk/