Self-defense class honors Sydney Sutherland

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 10:30 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A self-defense class honored a Jackson County woman tragically killed last year. Instructors say the class is crucial to remember Sydney Sutherland and teach other women how to keep themselves safe.

On Monday, Bare Fit Personal Training had a “Fight Like a Girl” self-defense class. Sydney took classes at the gym, where they say she was just like family.

Sydney’s mother, Maggy Sutherland, was there and hopes the class will save a life.

“It’s very important. I always think every day, what could have Sydney maybe have done just to save herself, maybe got help faster?” said Sutherland.

Instructor Fariss Maners hopes this class will raise awareness.

“If you go out for a run, you know, make sure you know what’s going on around you. Be aware of your surroundings,” said Maners. “There are certain things, especially we as females, can do. More safety measures, whether it’s wearing light-colored clothing, not running with your headphones in, again just being aware of what’s going on.”

Maners adds an easy way to keep yourself safe is to make sure you can hear.

When exercising, put your music on a low volume, take one earbud out, or play music on a speaker.

You should also stay in well-lit public places and let someone know your location.

The event raised over $1,000 and will go directly to the Sydney Scholarship fund at Arkansas State University-Newport.

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