Scotland called to stand up to domestic abuse by taking the burpee challenge

To mark the 40th anniversary of Scottish Women’s aid, campaigners are challenging members of the public to a burpeethon to face off threatened services

A BURPEETHON CHALLENGE is aiming to raise £10,000 on the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Scottish Women’s Aid (SWA).

The challenge is being organised for February 18, at The Arc, Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) at 12.45pm by SWA supporter Emma Jayne Saanen, who has organised two annual keep-fit challenges to raise money for the women’s charity. The GCU event will be the final mass burpee,  aimed at reaching her fundraising goal and raising awareness of the funding difficulties still facing women’s services in Scotland.

Burpees are a type of gym exercise that involves jumping and squatting repeatedly, infamous for their difficulty.

Event: Burpeethon on February 18, at The Arc, Glasgow Caledonian University at 12.45pm

Speaking to CommonSpace, Saanen said: “We're asking folk to come along and do 40 burpees, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Scottish Women's Aid, or to stay on and do as many burpees as they can.

“Burpees are awful, but there are plenty of worse things in the world. I read my local paper each week and see how impoverished my community is, and part of that is a rise in domestic abuse while services are being threatened with the axe left, right and centre.

“This is not a world I want for us. I don't have the skills to fix this situation but I can raise funds for an organisation that can.”

Emma Jayne, 33, who has the medical condition fibromyalgia, was determined to put on annual events and conceived of the challenge after being inspired by the ‘punishment’ training during her Krav Maga martial arts classes.

“Fundamentally these donations help to fund our critical work seeking to end domestic abuse in Scotland, and to improving the lives of women and children experiencing domestic abuse.” Brenna Jessie

Those who left equipment behind were given burpees to do and from this came the idea of a challenge to get people together and rally support for women’s services around fitness.

The two events in 2016 managed to raise a combined total of £6000 and she hopes to increase this amount during the four hours of the event.

“This is not a world I want for us. I don't have the skills to fix this situation but I can raise funds for an organisation that can.” Emma Jayne

Speaking to CommonSpace external affairs officer for SWA Brenna Jessie, said: “We're so excited and grateful to Em and the Burpeethon team for dedicating their time and efforts to raising money for Scottish Women's Aid. 

“Their continued support, and that of all our fundraisers and donors, is incredible. Fundamentally these donations help to fund our critical work seeking to end domestic abuse in Scotland, and to improving the lives of women and children experiencing domestic abuse; the value of this cannot be understated.”

Saanen is also looking for volunteers to help facilitate the event on the day: counting burpees, looking after participants, taking photographs and video, or offering first aid support.

Picture courtesy of Emma Jayne

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