Multi-Guinness World Records. Martin Parnell is a keynote speaker, author, 5 time Guinness World Record holder, world class endurance athlete and philanthropist.
Our 3rd exploration had us learning a lot about a gentleman who shared his passion for helping others around the world. Mr. Martin Parnell is an athlete ambassador for the Right To Play organization. By the end of 2014 he had raised over $1.3 million and helped over 27 000 children.
We learned that Mr. Parnell didn’t start running until he was 47 years old when his brother challenged him to run a marathon. It was after a bike trip across Africa that he was introduced to the Right To Play organization by a friend. Mr. Parnell and his friends formed “Kids-U-Can” and raised money for Right To Play. Next Mr. Parnell had a new idea to raise money; “Marathon Quest 250.” He ran in 250 marathons in a year and raised $320 000. The kids were excited to hear about the different places where Mr. Parnell ran some of his marathons; in the school yards of 60 schools with 12 000 kids!
Then it was onto “Quest for Kids,” which had Mr. Parnell organizing and participating in 10 “Quests” in 5 years! This has raised over $1.3 million for Right To Play. So what did we learn from this? Everyone can do something! One person can make a difference!
The kids were disappointed that some of Mr. Parnell’s marathons weren’t recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records, but were happy to hear about the other activities that had helped him break other Guinness World Records.
Right To Play’s motto, “Look after yourselves, look after one another” had the kids thinking. He also told the kids, when you can’t do something by yourself, you “Get help!”
As for Right To Play; a brief overview can be seen below…
Watch the YouTube video below to see how Right To Play is making a difference.
The idea that Right To Play teaches leadership, team building and conflict resolution, amongst other skills through sport and play had the kids intrigued. It was interesting that there were places in the world that Mr. Parnell has met kids and played games with them without even being able to speak their language. The students also found it interesting that people can participate in sport and play without being able to communicate using the same language.
When Mr. Parnell talked about the Right To Play program called “Play Your Part,” he again had an engaged audience. Many students are excited to work on this program and we are hoping to involve some our older Grade 5 students to help too! The students were able to think of some unique ways that they could raise money. Some of their ideas include a bake sale, a lemonade stand, selling coffee and hot chocolate at conference time, a garage sale, shoveling people’s driveways, to name a few.
They learned that for one child to participate in the Right To Play program for a year, it takes $50. The grade 3s have already started collecting loonies and toonies to support their first child. They have just raised $50 and have reached their goal!
Thank you to our guest, Mr. Martin Parnell for sharing his story and how he became involved with Right To Play.
You can visit the following social media platforms to learn more about Mr. Parnell and Right To Play:
Right To Play