2008 proved a life-changing year for Navaz Karim. Dragged under a double-decker bus, terrified onlookers were unsure whether he would survive.
It is hard to imagine that ten years later he laced up his running shoes and took part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon. The 31-year-old, who works for QVC at Chiswick Business Park, ran the iconic race in under two hours. As part of the race, he is raising money for Brentford FC Community Sports Trust – fundraising for the championship club’s vital community projects.
Reflecting on his horrific accident, Navaz said: “The driver of the bus didn’t realise he had hit me, so I was essentially dragged along the road with one leg over my shoulder. I had been doing some DIY at my girlfriend’s house and I had a screwdriver in my rucksack. When the driver realised he had hit me he turned off the engine: the suspension was lowered and pushed everything from my rucksack (which included the screwdriver) into my spine.”
It took two days for doctors to remove the screwdriver from his body. Miraculously, after only a week in hospital, Navaz was discharged and returned home. Nevertheless, Navaz is keen to highlight how the accident did not affect him in any negative way.
“I believe adversity in life can make you stronger,” he said. And if adversity made him stronger, sport proved his medicine in recovery. “I started running and swimming as part of my rehab. I have always been into running, but after my accident I felt like I went back to square one in terms of fitness. My experience definitely pushed me to do more sport.”
Growing up in Ealing, Navaz has seen first-hand the important community work by Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. “After learning more about the charity’s work I thought this is something I could get really passionate about," he added. Along with three other runners, Navaz is raising important funds for the Trust’s health, community, education and disability projects.
Established more than 30 years ago, the Trust uses the power of sport to inspire and empower people from all backgrounds. With Brentford FC being crowned ‘Community Club of the Year’ four times, the Trust has long been regarded as one of the most innovative Sports Trusts in the country – delivering life-changing work to communities across west London.