Fulham teachers to run marathon to raise money for anti-knife crime charity

Two Fulham teachers will run a marathon in two weeks, with the aim of raising £1,000 pounds for a youth anti-knife crime charity. 

Fulham Cross Academy PE teachers Nessir Emadi, 43, and Tariq Kavanagh, 23, are taking part in the Thames Meander Marathon on March 12, to raise money for the charity Lives Not Knives

Kavanagh said: “We decided to do something as we have both experienced close to home the first-hand effects of knife crime, so we thought it was very pertinent and important to us.”

Emadi, who has been at Fulham Cross Academy school for 16 years, knows four of his former pupils have been stabbed to death in the last 15 years.  

He said: “They had left school but it still feels very personal because they were kids where I remember them from 11-12 years old.” 

The victims were Kai Davis, 22, who died in August last year, Hani Solomon, 18, who died in February 2021 Sofyen Belamouadden, 15, who died in 2010 and Kodjo Yenga, 16, who died in March 2007. 

Remembering Kai Davis, Kavanagh said: “I knew him pretty well, he was a year below me, we were going to the same youth club, it was sad when the news came up.”

He added: “People think you’re just killing one person, but it affected his whole family and in the school there are a lot of people who were hurt of it.” 

The idea of the marathon came when the head of school, Alan Jones, challenged staff to set up targets and push themselves. 

They have been set the goal of finishing the marathon in under four hours and raising £1,000 for the Lives Not Knives charity, which is dedicated to preventing youth violence in London and aims to do so by offering tailored mentorship and advice to young people. 

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