Jack Bloor Races

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Every year we select a different carving from Ilkley Moor for the small trophies which are made by local artist James Fonquernie. This years carving is called 'Two Cups and Ring with Ticks' and can be found 360m east of the Badger Stone GR 11404604.
All senior class winners will receive a small trophy to keep.
Many thanks to James for making these unique trophies.

Bambisanani 2015- Chris Chavez Cronin

I chose to undertake the Bambisanani partnership because I wanted to develop coaching skills for teaching sports to children and young people. I also believed this trip would help give me a different perspective on the world by working with people from different backgrounds. I wanted it to give me a better understanding of poverty, coping with difficulties, cultural awareness, human rights, inequalities and how to tackle complex social problems. I also wanted it to help me understand about my future career choices and involvement and contribution to society.

This experience gave me a chance to help other people in many ways. Below is a summary of what we did during the partnership.

We met at 2.30pm in school on Wednesday the 17th of July, to start the journey that was over 24 hours and 7000 miles to the town we were staying - Eshowe, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa. On Friday we met the primary school students and then we met the Mnyakanya high school students, who we would be mentoring.  At the weekend we went to Shakaland and learned about the history and culture of the area and on Sunday we went to hhluhluwe Game reserve to find out more about South Africa. On the 5th and 6th day we spent mentoring and coaching the Mnyakanya students with the help of the 4 Eshowe High School students. We could not have done as well as we did without the help of the Eshowe students. On the 7th day the sports and reading festivals were put on. On the 8th we were shown around Eshowe High School and were taught about the education system in South Africa. We then went to the Zulufadder Orphanage and it was amazing to see how happy they seemed although they had so little. On the 9th day we visited Durban and we were shown around the city, it was striking to see the difference between the rich and the poor.

The partnership gave me an opportunity to help other people mainly through the sports leadership course. It was great to see the students we mentored growing in confidence over the time we were with them and at the end leading a large group of primary school children very successfully.  Also when we visited the orphanage the children were extremely happy and excited for us to be there, and we played games and helped them read in English with them. However it was not a one-way relationship, they helped me too be think more about other people and to be positive in difficult circumstances. 
It also gave me first hand experience of extreme inequalities both locally and internationally. The cultural and historical part of the partnership was a fascinating inside into the history and current situation of the Zulu culture in particular the history of apartheid and human right in South Africa.

The partnership is not a one off experience it is an on going long term project between the two schools. As well as using the experience through the rest of my life, I will help the next group of students going next year.

I would enjoy helping others less fortunate than myself, I also thought that doing this project would increase my confidence and that it would broaden my perspective in life.
I gained many things from the trip, one of which was too try to put problems here in perspective and makes the problems we experience here more minor, and too not feel as bad because we could have it much harder and worse.

The Small Trophies have been presented at the Jack Bloor Races since 1985. Each year a different Ilkley Moor rock carving is used for the basis of the design. The 2013 trophy shown below is inspired by the Keybird Rock which can be found on Rivock Edge. David Walker made these excellent and unique trophies until 2006 when James Fonquernie agreed to continue with the same theme. Further Jack Bloor Race trophies are illustrated here

Small Trophy awarded to the 2013 Senior Race class winners together with a bottle of Dinner Ale presented to all senior runners with the compliments of our sponsor, the Ilkley Brewery Company. 

After a glorious morning whilst many of us were in work the black clouds started to gather throughout the day just ready to produce a hailstorm and near freezing conditions for the 25th Anniversary of the Jack Bloor Fell Race. With a great turnout of 220 senior runners, it was also good to see so many juniors also racing before our race set off, which shows how the race has developed over the years. We all laughed off the big white hail stones falling from the black clouds overhead. On our way over IIlkley Moor we were tramping over settled hail, I had thankfully choosed to wear hat, gloves AND my Puma windproof, all on a May evening. Not knowing the route but having a knowledge of the moor as I had trained on it with training partners in the past I knew landmarks but not the lines to take in between. I followed those in front and did choose to follow the wrong peole on some occasions gaining in some places but losing positions in others. It was a great race, well supported and my appreciation goes out to all those who helped on and before the night, sitting out on the moor waiting for all the runners to come through each checkpoint in cold conditions. To come through the finish funnel and receive a bottle of home brewed beer was a nice surprise! I wasnt aware of my time until a little while after the race but was surprised if not happy to hear I had broken the 15 year old record of Lucy Wrights, racing with the guys is always good because there is always someone around you so you can never give up trying.

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