Thursday, 14 October 2010

Marathon Bra Challenge for Women of Birmingham

University of Birmingham students Eleanor Bower, Laura Bass and Vicki Holmes join Sharon Lea to promote the challenger

By Ben Aulakh

Women in Birmingham are being set a marathon bra challenge by the city council.

Bra recycling banks were launched in the city on August 19 with the aim of collecting the unwanted items for donation to developing countries, as well as raising money for breast cancer research in the region.

So far 1, 071 ditched D-cups and collected C-cups have been placed in the banks, and now in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games, women in the city are being asked to donate enough bras to measure the length of the tournaments marathon course.

Sharon Lea, Strategic Director for Environment and Culture at Birmingham City Council, said: “I am delighted that this imaginative council recycling service has been such an immediate success.

“I urge everyone to take up our challenge and enable Birmingham to go for gold with our marathon challenge between now and 2012.” 

The UK’s average bra size is 36 inches around the back, which is the equivalent to one yard, as there are 760 yards in a mile, 46,145 bras would need to be donated in the next 22 months to cover the race distance of 26 miles and 385 yards. 

So far local women have donated the equivalent of 0.6 miles of bras, which when laid out would measure the length of 443 javelins used by female athletes such as World Heptathlon Champion Jessica Ennis. 

The bras are recycled to raise money for Breast Friends, a Sutton Coldfield based charity that supports women with breast cancer. 

The collection is sold by weight and the first months gathering weighed 63kg.

BCR Global Textiles, a local recycling firm, then sells the bras to traders in developing countries, giving women there a garment they may otherwise not have access to.

Sharon added, “These generous and environmentally-friendly donations will play a great part in helping women both locally and in the developing world.”

Photograph from Birmingham Newsroom.

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