26 August 2013
On 6 September 2013, hundreds of athletes will compete for sporting glory at the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels. This year, the event will not only be memorable for athletics enthusiasts, but also for Gert-Jan Struye and Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF). Gert-Jan, president of the law student association VRG from Leuven, is one of the happy few who will sprint 100 meters for a good cause, alongside champions such as Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
The Flemish radio station Studio Brussel gives eight men and eight women the opportunity to run the 100 meters of their lives at the Memorial Van Damme. When choosing a good cause, Gert-Jan’s heart went out to ASF. Before the event, he is encouraging people to sponsor him in his support for ASF. In addition, the Belgian national lottery (Lotto) will divide €5000 of prize money among the participants, in support of their good cause, ranging from €500 for the winner to €100 for the eighth place.
We met up with Gert-Jan a couple of weeks before the big event.
Gert-Jan, why did you choose ASF as the charity for which to run?
Gert-Jan: “As president of the VRG, I have been in contact with Avocats Sans Frontières for a few years. At the time, we sometimes organised activities to benefit ASF. Through this, I came to respect ASF’s commitment to ensure a fair and impartial judicial system for all. For us, here, such a judicial system is self-evident, but that is far from being the case elsewhere. Therefore, when I needed to choose a charity for my 100m sprint at the Memorial Van Damme, the decision was easily made.”
What do you hope to achieve by participating in the 100 meter sprint?
Gert-Jan: “I hope more people will become aware of the work ASF is doing and how this can contribute to a better judicial system in countries where corruption, armed conflicts and political violence often occur. If, by running 100 meters, I can encourage a few people to contemplate global issues and convince them to support Avocats Sans Frontières, I’ll have achieved my goal. Of course, this entails that I will try to run a top time and come in first, so that I can put Avocats Sans Frontières in the spotlight as much as possible.
Do you want to give Gert-Jan and Avocats Sans Frontières a financial boost? There’s still time to make a donation on our bank account BE89 6300 2274 9185 (BIC code: BBRUBEBB) or online, mentioning ‘100 meters Gert-Jan StuBru’. Any donation over 40 euros is tax deductible.
We would like to thank the law firm Eubelius for their financial support to Gert-Jan’s cause and ASF. Furthermore, they will double the price money Gert-Jan is able to obtain during the contest.