Hayley and Marit Others join the Ironman for the adrenalin rush. Some endure the heat and rain to tick off their bucket list. Many do it for the love of sports. But to two teachers at Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong (LPCUWC), they were in it for a mission.

Hayley Goldberg (left) and Marit Zahkna transformed a personal challenge into a life-changing opportunity for one student from a less advantaged background to study at LPCUWC. They joined the Ironman 70.3 Championship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in the first week of September 2018 to raise funds for a full scholarship for one overseas recipient.

The target: HK$300,000 by October 17, 2018. It was an amount pegged to unlock more matching funds via the Davis-UWC IMPACT Challenge – what, when achieved, would double the proceeds and enable the scholar from a humble background to complete a full two-year cycle at LPCUWC.

As Hayley and Marit were approaching the finish line, the community was one.  Alumni, staff and friends of LPCUWC threw in their support – big or small – gradually building up the fund. 

“We believe that UWC is a chance for you to step up, take the challenge, meet the world and make a difference,” said Hayley and Marit, giving a purpose behind the goal of sending a scholar to LPCUWC.

Like the Ironman to Hayley and Marit, raising HK$300,000 is daunting. But with similar passion and determination, no obstacle is impossible to hurdle; every little reminder of the mission kept them on. And it meant big that donations from alumni, teachers and friends affirmed the transformative value behind their participation in the popular invitation-only, long-course triathlon competition.

Roughly a month left to October 17 — and after Hayley and Marit completed Ironman – excitement and optimism remains high. Sustained by the same mission, the race now shifts to generating the remaining amount and increasing the number of backers from 44 to 100 and more. 

An update on this is up on Sparkraise (http://bit.ly/crowdfunding-lpcuwc-hm) and our College Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lpcuwc/).

(Credits: Cover photo by Steve Chiu)