Supporting students from over 8,000 miles away

Sheffield alumna Sikose Mjali recently took part in her first half-marathon, and raised over £290 to support scholarships for Sheffield students.

Alumna Sikose Mjali running the Langebaan Country Estate Weskus Marathon

What makes her story so special is that Sikose is our first community fundraiser who has taken part in an event overseas - her challenge took place in South Africa, as part of the Langebaan Country Estate Weskus Marathon event on 21 April 2018.

Sikose graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2011 with a BA in English Language and Linguistics, followed in 2012 by an MA in Applied Linguistics with TESOL and she has since taught English in Saudi Arabia and Oman. During her time in Sheffield she was awarded an Alumni Scholarship. She was also a valuable member of the student calling team, which gave her an opportunity to speak with dozens of alumni on the telephone about the impact for our students of philanthropic donations.

Having been incredibly grateful for the Alumni Fund scholarship, Sikose told us why she had decided to run her first half marathon:

“I have done so much since graduating just 5 years ago and I genuinely feel that I have the University, and particularly, the Alumni Fund to thank for that […] I would like to take the chance to make this a fundraising opportunity and do it for the Alumni Fund.”

Under a cloudless South African sky, Sikose ran the half marathon in 02:36:37. She said:

“I'm very happy with this time because it beats my personal best of never-ran-a-half-marathon-before! I was really hoping and trying to do it in less time, but I was bitten hard by The Black Mamba Hill in the last few kilometres on the way back. It was a beautiful day in Langebaan and I'm so happy I did this.”

Jemma Gurr, who manages the Regular Giving team, said:

“We're all so grateful to Sikose for choosing to run her first ever half-marathon to support Sheffield's scholarship programme. These scholarships really do change lives - and the money Sikose has raised will help open up the amazing opportunity of a Sheffield education to more bright students from low-income households. Thank you Sikose!”