Team Bramhope

Tariq Qadeer, from Leeds, has been a volunteer and supporter of IKCA for many years. He spoke to us about his love of the outdoors and the many years he’s dedicated to supporting cancer charities with his treks and challenges.  

Two of my very close relatives died of cancer in Pakistan in the 80’s and early ’90s, says Tariq Qadeer. I saw their suffering with my own eyes. One of them, my dad’s younger brother, had throat cancer. He lived on Muzafarabad, where there wasn’t even a decent hospital in the 80’s, and cancer treatment wasn’t available at all. So he used to come and stay with us in Rawalpindi while undergoing treatment.

Like most Pakistanis, I knew Imran Khan from his cricket career and then his building of the first Shaukat Khanum cancer hospital in Lahore. So when I did my first Leeds half marathon, in 2007, I decided to raise money for IKCA. I believe I only managed to raise about £200 for the charity. At the time I wasn’t interested in running and didn’t do much training either, which meant that I suffered a lot during and after the run: I lost both of my big toe-nails and lots of other aches and pains!

Then in 2008, my younger brother Aamir joined me, and we did the Leeds half together for IKCA. In 2009 I invited brother Ikhlaq, who is the in charge of the IKCA Bradford office to join us for the Leeds half marathon, which he did. For the next couple of years “Team IKCA” grew strong, and in 2012 we had 10 IKCA volunteers running in the Leeds half!

Then in 2013, I organised my first Yorkshire Three Peaks walk.  The majority of the 22 volunteers were from Bramhope Leeds where I have a very small newspaper shop. Again I asked brother Ikhlaq to join us so we can raise some money for the charity. The other main beneficiary of the walk was the Candlelighters Trust, a children’s Cancer charity for Yorkshire.

Since then I have been organising the YTP walk every year. I also used to organise the “Team Bramhope” for the Leeds Half, but had to stop this in 2015, due to engagements at my shop.

In 2016 and 2017 IKCA and brother Ikhlaq decided to take the idea further and start their own outdoor activity events. The aim was to raise awareness of the work IKCA is doing in Pakistan, but also to help improve the health of volunteers and their families, by taking part in these outdoor activities. Now they have a full calendar of challenges and activities which is growing rapidly in popularity and numbers.

I have been organising other charity events in the village for the past 10 years now like the “pub quiz” every November, for the BBC Children in Need appeal, and “run a mile” in March, for Sports relief/red nose day.

I have managed to raise up to £100,000 for a number of charities including £52000 for the Candlelighters Trust, £15000 for IKCA, and £20,000 for Children in Need appeal.

But most importantly I hope that I have inspired others, both young and old, to not only get out and get fit, but also to do something for good causes, by raising the profiles of different charities.

I hope that more people, youngsters, and families will come out and join IKCA for their next walk/challenge, and will support the charity in every way possible.

Join us on our next walk, contact 01274 424444 or visit our website.

Thank you for your support.

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