The #Mentalhealthwarriors Take On Great Birmingham 10K

Womens Running

One of the city’s most successful Jiu Jitsu clubs is taking on this year’s Great Birmingham 10K to help raise awareness of mental health issues among young people.

Aston Jiu Jitsu Club is aiming to raise £5,000 for mental health charity Mind during a year of fundraising activities, which culminates with a team taking part in the annual 10k on Sunday, May 31.

Founded in 1989 by Sensei Milan Ilic, the club is based at Aston University in Birmingham city centre and is open to all. It is a member of The Jiu Jitsu Foundation, the largest single body of Jiu Jitsu clubs in the UK.

Aston Jiu Jitsu Club teaches simple practical self-defence in a safe and friendly environment. It is described as a great way to build confidence, get fit and meet new friends.

The multi-award winning club is the home of the National Atemi Champions 2009 and multiple National Atemi Open Championships. In 2010, the club achieved a historic Grand Slam where every belt promotion from Yellow to 3rd Dan was gained within a single academic year.

Leading the Aston Jiu Jitsu Club Great Birmingham 10k team is 28-year-old Abdus Burahee, a trauma and orthopaedics surgical trainee and martial arts instructor, who said: “Most of us have either personally or indirectly been affected by mental health troubles, and we chose Mind as friends and family had previously benefitted from their help.”

“We’ve all heard ‘man up!’, “forget about it!’ and ‘get on with it!’, but sometimes we need something more and figures show one in four people suffer from mental health problems in the UK.”

Aston Jiu Jitsu members Carys Weeds, Eric Lau, Paul Glebioska and Suraj Soren, will be running alongside Abdus at the 10k on May 31.

“We would like to play our part and help signpost to those who need help in the right direction. As part of this campaign; we will be running the Birmingham 10k to raise more funds for the charity,” he said.

This year’s Great Birmingham 10K features a stunning new route, taking in some of Birmingham’s popular landmarks such as Birmingham Hippodrome, St Martin’s Church, Grand Central and the Mailbox.

For the first time in its history, the 10k will go through the city’s world-famous Jewellery Quarter and pass beautiful St Paul’s Square.

This year’s 10k is being described as featuring a ‘best-ever’ course.

Entries are now open for the event, which is the perfect training run for the Great Birmingham Run half marathon on Sunday, October 11, or an opportunity to raise funds for a charity close to runners’ hearts, such as Mind mental health.

Three in five young people (59 per cent) have either experienced a mental health problem themselves, or are close to someone who has, according to new research by Mind that shows the sheer scale of the pressures faced by young people.

The data comes from a survey of over 12,000 young people aged between 11 and 19 carried out by the charity.

The survey also shows that one in seven (14 per cent) young people say their mental health is currently poor or very poor and outlines the breadth of the challenges they face. It also highlights how secondary schools are promoting and supporting their wellbeing.

Speaking about the research findings, Louise Clarkson, Head of Children and Young People at Mind, said: “It’s time for a fresh approach to supporting young people and equipping them to look after their mental health.

“With so many young people affected, and knowing that most mental health problems start in childhood, this is rapidly becoming one of the major challenges our society faces. We need to listen to what young people are telling us and be guided by them when designing services and support.”

To enter the Great Birmingham 10k click here

To support Aston Jiu Jitsu’s year of fundraising visit

Follow the team’s progress on Facebook and Instagram at #MentalHealthWarriors

Picture caption from left to right: Suraj Soren, Paul Glebioska, Eric Lau, Carys Weeds, Abdus Burahee.