Every Step Counts: Brooke Runs For Health In Africa
In the lead up to International Women’s Day, our social media reporter Brie Eyre, met up with Griffith University’s very own Dr Brooke Harris-Reeves, as she prepares to run in the New York half marathon for the Shoe4Africa team.
Program Director of the Bachelor of Sport Development, Dr Brooke Harris-Reeves, has found a way to utilise her passion for health and education to create change on a global scale. She will be the first ever Australian to run in the New York half marathon for the Shoe4Africa team.
Shoe4Africa is a not-for-profit organisation devoted to bettering the lives of East African people, particularly women and children, focusing mainly in the areas of health and education. Starting out by donating running shoes to those in need in East Africa, the organisation’s work has since grown to include raising awareness for AIDS, building schools, developing education programs, and promoting women’s empowerment.
Shoe4Africa’s missions resonated with Brooke as she holds education and health integral in a strong and healthy life.
“I love that they educate people and ensure they are leading a healthy lifestyle and that’s basically what sport development is about,
“The fact that I can make a difference in these people’s lives by actually doing something that I love means a great deal,” said Brooke.
Currently Shoe4Africa is in the process of building the first ever public teaching children’s hospital in all of East Africa.
The money Brooke is raising goes towards this cause.
“This small thing that I’m doing is making such a difference in these people’s lives and we’re so blessed in Australia. The problems we face here in Australia seem insignificant compared to the East African people. If I can just spread the word and do small things it can make a huge difference in other people’s lives,” said Brooke.
“Even just $5 can make a huge difference. They’ve got very little health resources, some of them don’t even have shoes or shelter. $5 to us is a cup of coffee, but $5 to them means the world,” Brooke said.
Once the hospital is built, Shoe4Africa will work on raising money for furnishings and medical equipment.
Brooke is extremely proud to be Australia’s first runner in the event for this team and she is preparing like a champion.
“I’ve been getting the K’s [kilometres] in my legs. I’m just a little bit worried about the temperature difference,” Brooke said.
With New York’s weather being around 5⁰C compared to the warmth here in Queensland, there is a lot more pressure on Brooke’s body, both mentally and physically.
“My personal best is 1 hour 42 minutes for a half marathon. I’m going into the event strong and know I’m capable of running around my PB, but we will have to see what the weather is like on the day,” Brooke said.
From all of the Griffith University community we wish Brooke the best of luck both in her race and raising the much needed money for such a great cause.
-By Brie Eyre