To warm your soul during this chilly week, we’re highlighting the heartfelt reasons one University of Brighton student is running in our Brighton Marathon team this April to help support other students.
Ilon, an Environmental Science BSc(Hons) third year student is taking part in our University of Brighton running team. As a recipient of the Student Potential Fund, we sat down with him to find out the impact funding has on students and why it’s spurred him on to raise funds to help other students.
Q: What is your reason for running on behalf of the University of Brighton?’
A: The University of Brighton has given me so much opportunity and experience. Despite the exceptional years we’ve just been through I have been supported completely by my lecturing team and the student support team. I have been reached out to more times that I can count now by people in the university to help me with everything from financial aid to time management skills and recreational activities. Despite COVID, UoB has provided me with a full university experience and I want to give back any way I can!
Q: You’re running a marathon to raise money for the University of Brighton’s Student Potential Fund. Why do you think it’s important for people to support students today?
A: It has never been easy to gain a degree and each generation has had its own unique challenges in this. I have been lucky enough to meet several incredible people who are completing their degrees now which will provide them with a better life them themselves and their families who would not have had the option even ten years ago! Having access to this incredible opportunity does not make it easy, however. One of the key mechanisms the university has to reach students and offer them the support they deserve is through the Student Potential Fund. The fund is there to allow students to continue their studies and to support students in complex situations who may not have the same advantages as others. The reality of student life is that we have to work to earn money, sometimes over 30 hours a week, on top of studying, just to get by in Brighton. Anything to minimise this impact allows students to flourish and focus on what we came to university to do.
Q: How has the university supported you as a student, and how does it make you feel to know that people want to support University of Brighton students?
A: I have built personal relationships with so many people in the support staff and teaching staff at UoB, many of whom have been there for me when I’ve been struggling with personal and academic issues. I feel that UoB treats its students differently from other universities. I have spoken to friends matriculated at other Universities and they have not received even close to the same support and help from their universities.
Q: How has your training been going?
A: Training is a godsend during assessment periods. Going for a long run for a few hours gives me a chance to clear my head, exercise and get out of the city. I plan to start a structured training plan in the next week now that my exams are over, which hopefully will get my marathon time down to below 4 hours.
Q: How will you feel after the marathon is finished?
A: I was supposed to run last year’s marathon but unfortunately had an injury so I couldn’t compete, so it’s safe to say I’ve been looking forward to that finish line for nearly two years now! I am very proud to represent my university in the marathon as well, so crossing that finish line will be the culmination of several important goals for me.
Q: What would you say to someone who may be thinking about donating to the university’s Student Potential Fund?
A: As someone who received funding for an internship during the summer, I can honestly say it has been the most important part of my university experience. All recipients of the Student Potential Fund are grateful, the difference it makes is far larger to the recipients than I can express here, but the achievements people are making with the help of this fund are in no exaggeration life changing to them.
To support Ilon and his campaign, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ilon-sofair
For alumni and friends interested in finding out about our other campaigns and ways to get involved, including information about our upcoming Giving Day on the 5-6th April 2022, visit our website here.