An energetic employee at Bristol-based Meningitis UK is hosting a 24-hour grappling session to get to grips with wiping out meningitis.
Can Sönmez, a database administrator at the Kingswood-based national charity, is a passionate practitioner and teacher of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). The enthusiastic employee is organising a sponsored BJJ GrappleThon to raise as much money as possible for Meningitis UK, where he has worked since January 2012. He and around 35 people, including members of Bristol-based BJJ club Gracie Barra Bristol, will donate their bodies by taking part. The fitness fundraiser takes place at Gracie Barra Bristol on Heber Street, Redfield, from 9am on Saturday, September 22, to 9am the next day.
Can, 31, of St George, who has been doing BJJ for six years, said: “When I decided to organise an event to raise money for the charity, I knew exactly how I wanted to do it – grappling. “I’m really pleased that so many members of Gracie Barra are willing to donate their time and bodies to the Meningitis UK GrappleThon. “It would also be great if we could tempt people watching online who aren’t already involved to give the sport a go themselves. We hope our passion will help us raise lots of money to fight meningitis, which can kill in under four hours.”
Can is planning to stream the sporty fundraiser live across the internet, with particular focus on reaching places with a die-hard BJJ following such as London, Los Angeles and New York.
Meningitis UK founder, Steve Dayman, who launched the charity after losing his 14-month-old son Spencer to meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia in 1982, said: “We thank Can for organising such a spectacular fundraiser to help the charity. “We wish him and all the grapplers the best as it sounds like a gruelling and demanding challenge. Every penny raised will help us fund research to find a vaccine to wipe out the deadly disease.”
One plucky participant has even challenged herself to go further. Maeve Groot Bluemink, 24, of Bristol, has said: “Because I know the other members love to torture me and see me sweat, for every £50 I raise, I’ll grapple for an extra hour. My fate lies in your hands, help me in my mission of self-punishment.”
To make Maeve grapple longer, visit http://www.justgiving.com/Indutchi.
For more information on Meningitis UK call 0117 947 6320 or visit www.meningitisuk.org.An energetic employee at Bristol-based Meningitis UK is hosting a 24-hour grappling session to get to grips with wiping out meningitis.