Bonita Norris, the youngest person in the world to have reached the summit of Everest and the North Pole, visited Kingsbury High School on Monday 18th April to speak in front of 100 girls as part of the, Play for Change, Slam Dunk Programme.
Play for Change is a charity aiming to improve the lives of children through the power of sport. Students from schools in Wandsworth and Brent came together at Kingsbury High to listen to Bonita’s exceptional talk and to share a game of basketball.
The Slam Dunk programme is delivered in communities across London using basketball as a hook to deliver life skills and inspirational workshops.
Bonita, standing in front of the young girls, said “we should all aim ridiculously high in life”. Bonita tells her story of coming from a small town with few opportunities, and 2 years after attending a lecture about Mount Everest she summited the world’s highest mountain at the age of 22, making her the youngest person to do so.
“When I push myself the most and I am outside of my comfort zone, that’s when the most amazing things happen”, said Bonita, who currently trains 4 hours a day for her next trip up K2 which is the second highest mountain in the world although widely perceived to be a harder and more dangerous climb.
Kingsbury High School student, Salma Abdi, was inspired by the talk and said “Bonita made me think I could climb Mount Everest too by taking one step at a time. She taught me that even if you have doubt in your mind, you can still do something great.”
Bonita Norris says “Being an Ambassador for Play for Change is such a huge honour. Sport changed my life and I’d love for that to be universal for anyone to be able to work their way out of any hardships. With Play for Change I know I can make a difference and I would love to see young girls having their confidence and life skills built through doing sport and realising what it can do for them.”
Associate Head of Faculty for Physical Education and Extended Learning at Kingsbury High, Lucy McNeil, said “We have started a very positive relationship with the charity Play for Change. This program has enabled us to gain access to great basketball coaching for the girls. Through this project we also had the privilege of a visit from Bonita Norris. She is a superb role model for the students and delivered a powerful speech which left our students inspired in more than one way I am sure.”