Getting the balance right

Here are my thoughts on what the fund raising event should be like…


logsFirst and foremost, the obstacle course should be safe for all participants. The site owners should have performed a thorough risk assessment of the entire course. There must not be any dangerous obstacles that risk causing serious injury, such as very tall climbing obstacles, high jumps or deep or fast moving water, and extreme obstacles are absolutely out of the question.


The obstacle course should be suitable for a broad range of participants, both young and old, with different fitness levels and abilities. In particular, it should be accessible to families, school pupils and young people in general, as well as older runners. Everybody taking part should be able to complete the entire course without serious problems, even if it takes them all day.


ditchWhile ensuring the obstacle course is safe and suitable for all, it should not become an easy, mundane contest. The obstacle course is intended to be challenging, as a focal point for fundraising through sponsorship. The course should remain relatively difficult, causing participants moderate discomfort and exhaustion. They must earn their sponsors’ pledges.


Some people like to get dirty, but most of us don’t; we’d rather have a nice warm shower, fragrance our bodies and clothe ourselves in an elegant garment. Nevertheless, a good obstacle course should be very muddy, as it is supposed to take us out of our comfort zone, demanding that we enter an unfamiliar environment: participants must adapt to their setting, not the other way round.


splatteredWhile setting participants a tough challenge, you will also want to keep them smiling, as it will help them get through it. The obstacle course event should have a light-hearted atmosphere; it is not a military boot camp, where participants are punished for missing a hurdle. It’s totally okay to not do an obstacle. Let supervisors and spectators encourage them to succeed.


The event as a whole should have a friendly, Eid party atmosphere, celebrating sisterhood, shared faith and the great outdoors. It is okay for runners to be competitive, but a sense of mutual respect, fraternity and optimism should be the dominant characteristic of the occasion. Participants should be made to feel appreciated by the charities they are supporting.


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