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Why I’m challenging myself and joining Run India

World Vision
17 August 2016 by Emma Lovell
Why I’m challenging myself and joining Run India

It's important to have purpose and motivation when taking on a physical challenge like Run India. Emma explains why she is signing up - and why you should as well!

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good challenge. I’ve cycled through Cambodia with a team of 20 people who raised funds for World Vision Australia in 2014. In 2015, I trained to climb to Everest Base Camp with 18 others and we raised as a group $100,000 for World Vision’s work with women and children in Nepal.

So when I heard I could virtually run across India in a 12 week challenge… I said sign me up! I am excited to be a part of #RunIndia.


What is Run India?

Run India is a chance to push yourself in the name of something bigger – change that gives children in India the opportunity to strengthen their minds through quality education.

Samantha Gash is running 3,800 km across India to support children’s education. Run India will raise funds and awareness to improve education for children in India. You can take part by virtually running along with Sam while tracking your distance with your team at home.

Sam will visit World Vision projects to learn more about their approach to community development and commitment to ensuring that all children can access the education they deserve.

Photo credit: Ilana Rose, World Vision 2015

Photo credit: Ilana Rose, World Vision 2015

For me – it is unacceptable that children are not able to access education. It’s not just a matter of families not being able to afford it – there are so many factors at play such as malnutrition, gender issues and child labour.

I want to be part of a change that sees us together break down such barriers for these children, so they can be educated for a better future.

So what does this mean for me and why would I choose to be part of this epic challenge?

I love a physical challenge

Perhaps one of the easiest motivating factors for joining a 12 week fitness challenge is to get fit! I see this as an incredible way to be part of a community of people who care about their bodies and want to do something for good using their fitness.

I’m in a team of people who have set our distance goal as Delhi, 1083km. I’ve pledged to do 25km per week. Whether I do that in a 10km walk, and four smaller walks, or in one go, that’s up to me. All up I will contribute 300km to the group’s total. Possibly more! Being part of a team has always helped me and whether we do it together or virtually cheer each other on (I’m in Sydney, they are in Melbourne), I know they are with me!

I’ll be having fun with my running too, because fitness should be fun.

Exhibit A: I took part in the Sutherland 2 Surf in June 2016. A fun run. I wore skeleton leggings so it looked like you could actually see my bones moving. I thought it was hilarious and had a total blast!

Exhibit A: I took part in the Sutherland 2 Surf in June 2016. A fun run. I wore skeleton leggings so it looked like you could actually see my bones moving. I thought it was hilarious and had a total blast!

It’s a cause close to my heart

For me, supporting World Vision is a no-brainer. I’ve seen the work that they do and the holistic approach they take to community development. It’s not just the child who benefits – and in a campaign such as Run India especially – the funds help the entire community rise up together. It’s not a hand out, it’s a hand up. For me this makes it much easier to fundraise and ask family, friends and colleagues to donate. I truly believe that we can together make a change through giving.


Education is a human right.

In Australia, in what I’ve experienced, we are so fortunate that education is mandatory and it is readily available for so many of us. For reasons, often outside of their control, families in India struggle to send their children to school. When they do, there may be a lack of resources in the school which hinder learning. For girls, there may be societal restraints that impact their access to education. There are many reasons that mean a quality education in India is not open to everyone.

India is a country that I truly love. Having visited there eight times, it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to give more to and support. #RunIndia is my opportunity to give back to a country that has taught and offered me so much. The Indians I have met are kind, generous and hard working people, and every person deserves opportunity when it comes to such a basic human right as education.

By raising funds through Run India, I know that together we can help communities with the challenges that prevent children from accessing a quality education.


Samantha Gash often says, what is your why?

In order to do something, especially a great challenge, we need to understand the why behind what we are doing. I’ve told you mine – what would yours be? Whatever it is, it can motivate you through the 12 weeks of this challenge. So, are you going to join Samantha Gash, myself and many others in Run India? Tell us #howfaryouwillgo and sign up to Run India!

Emma Lovell Emma Lovell

Emma Lovell is a Blog Ambassador for World Vision Australia. She blogs at and


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