British mountain climber inspires school pupils in Kingsbury

Year seven Kingsbury High pupils Salma Abdi, Tabinda Sheikh, Bonita Norris and Anisha Gnaneswaran wi

Year seven Kingsbury High pupils Salma Abdi, Tabinda Sheikh, Bonita Norris and Anisha Gnaneswaran with Bonita Norris, one of the youngest women in Britain to scale Mount Everest and the North Pole - Credit: Archant

One of the youngest British women to climb Mount Everest inspired pupils from a secondary school in Kingsbury telling them to “aim ridiculously high”.

Bonita Norris, who reached the summit of Everest and the North Pole aged 22, visited Kingsbury High School in Princes Avenue, to speak in front of 100 girls as part of the Play for Change, Slam Dunk Programme.

Play for Change is a charity aiming to improve the lives of children through the power of sport.

The Slam Dunk programme uses basketball is delivered in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the capital as a hook to deliver life skills and inspirational.

Ms Norris said: “We should all aim ridiculously high in life. When I push myself the most and I am outside of my comfort zone, that’s when the most amazing things happen”

The 28-year-old reached the summit the world’s highest mountain in 2010 after attending a lecture about Mount Everest two years before. Her record was broken by a 19-year-old in 2012.

Currently training four hours a day for her next trip to scale K2, the second highest mountain in the world, she added: “Being an ambassador for Play for Change is such a huge honour. Sport changed my life and I’d love for that to be universal for anyone to be able to work their way out of any hardships. With Play for Change I know I can make a difference and I would love to see young girls having their confidence and life skills built through doing sport and realising what it can do for them.”

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Salma Abdi, a year seven pupil at Kingsbury High, said: “Bonita made me think I could climb Mount Everest too by taking one step at a time. She taught me that even if you have doubt in your mind, you can still do something great.”

Lucy McNeil, associate head of faculty for physical education and extended learning at the school, said: “We have started a very positive relationship with the charity Play for Change. This program has enabled us to gain access to great basketball coaching for the girls. Through this project we also had the privilege of a visit from Bonita Norris. She is a superb role model for the students and delivered a powerful speech which left our students inspired in more than one way I am sure.”

Play for Change is currently recruiting for youth, community and basketabll clubs to take part in its Slam Dunk Basketball and Inspiration programme, For more information contact