3rd August 1999

 

FLEET-FOOTED MARTIN’S BAREFOOT FEAT

 

A Lincoln-based university student from Africa will run barefoot from Lincoln to Sheffield next month to raise money for a new school in his homeland of Malawi.

 

Martin Nthakomwa, who is studying for a business qualification at the University

of Lincolnshire & Humberside, aims to raise up to £30,000 by the end of his trek.

 

“Covering fifty miles is no problem for me - I’ve done it before, but never barefoot,” said Martin. “It’s meant to be a walk, but I’m actually going to run, because walking fifty miles is too boring - you must walk the whole day and nothing else.”

 

Martin, who completed a degree at Sheffield University before coming to Lincoln, says he wants to learn business skills in order to help educational organisations in Malawi on his return - in particular a new school set up by his parents in Karonga.

 

“Poverty, hunger and lack of an education have always been a big issue for my parents, so last year they set up a small school in Malawi for children who have no education, and no chance of an education, because they are poor. My parents wanted to break that poverty trap, and I want to play a part in that.”

 

Martin plans to complete his journey barefoot to highlight the plight of poorer countries. “As we approach the millennium people think that the whole world is the way it is in the west,” he said. “But things are very different in my part of the world, where three-quarters of the people walk barefooted. Though running from Lincoln to Sheffield in bare feet might seem unusual, it’s not unusual in my country.”

 

Martin reckons it will take him four hours to run from Lincoln to Worksop, where he will stay at the Wesleyan Methodist Church, on Friday 17th September. The following day he will run to Sheffield, where his odyssey will end at Sheffield City Hall.

 

If you would like to pledge a donation to Martin’s cause call him on 01522 809087, send donations to Nettleham Methodist Church Office, High Street, Nettleham, Lincoln LN2 2PL, or telephone the university on 01522 886042.

 

For more information contact:

 

Jez Ashberry

Press and Media Relations Manager, University of Lincolnshire & Humberside

Tel: 01522 886042