South Shields military students up the pace World Mental Health Day with charity log marathon
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A group of 25 students from South Shields Military Preparation College, were among 100 young people from military colleges across the North East, who took part in the event on Thursday, October 10, at Gateshead International Stadium.
The 16 to 19-year-olds took turns running laps with a 70kg log to complete the 26.2 mile marathon in under four hours.
Each college - from South Shields, Newcastle, Bishop Auckland and Stockton - fielded six teams of four who carried the log in a relay for around seven miles each, covering a total of 106 laps of the track.
The event was organised in honour of World Mental Health Day to raise money for the organisation’s own charity, the Motivation and Learning Trust.
The Trust helps fund educational opportunities for disadvantaged young people, such as those struggling with financial difficulties or mental health issues, something which many of those at the College have faced themselves.
“As part of the programme every year, we do charity events, and this year the aim was to raise awareness of mental health for World Mental Health Day, as well money for our own charity,” said regional operations manager for Military Preparation Colleges, Laurence Corbett.
“A lot of young people come to us with all sorts of complex needs. Many of them suffer from anxiety and depression as a result of modern society and things they've experienced in their personal life at home.”
He continued: “A lot of activities that we do at the College, and the physical education aspect, really helps them to overcome that.
“A lot of learners come out the other side having been at the College in a much better place mentally than they were when they started.”
Laurence added: “All of the learners who took part are actively engaged on a course and progressing towards towards the military.”
The Military Colleges provide free courses to equip 16 to 19-year-olds with the academic skills and physical fitness levels they need to embark on a career in the Armed Forces.