British Paralympics

Ten intrepid fundraisers are set to push themselves to the limit as they take on an Arctic Survival Challenge, raising vital funds for the British Paralympic Association (BPA).The group begin their adventure on March 7, marking one year to go until the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Guided by adventure specialists Intrepid Expeditions, the team will travel to the edge of the Arctic Circle where they’ll meet freezing temperatures of -30 degrees Celsius. They will acclimatise to life for a week in the wilderness, before venturing out into the harsh environment to build a shelter in which to live. They will also have to learn skills to help them traverse the Arctic landscape, including husky sledding, driving a snowmobile, and cross-country skiing.

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of the British Paralympic Association, said: “The Arctic Challenge demonstrates the lengths to which our fundraisers will go to show their support for the BPA. In their enthusiasm to take on this challenge and push themselves to the limit, they are reflecting the spirit shown by our athletes. Departing exactly one year before the Sochi Winter Games get underway, the expedition is a timely demonstration of how their support helps us to prepare our athletes to compete and enables us to send the best prepared ParalympicsGB team to the Games. I’d therefore like to thank EDF Energy for their continued and much valued support.”

The team consists of employees from EDF Energy, long-term supporters of the BPA. The expedition party is built of staff members based at offices across the country and includes Anthony Hughes from Doxford, Mark Holmes from Heysham, Laraine Munt from London, Chris Simpson from Worthing, Jemma Penkethman and Chris Bushell from Exeter, Lavinia Fieldsend-Allum and Isobel Robertson from Hove and Dominic Blythe and Andy Tuck from Torness.

Anthony Hughes, a customer service advisor from Doxford, said: “I cannot wait for the opportunity to complete the challenge – especially the survival stage. I want to push myself to the limit – and surviving on rations, building shelters from snow and melting snow for water is a massive physical and psychological challenge.
“The opportunity also gives me the chance to take part in Husky sledging, snowboarding, cross country skiing and riding snowmobiles. All while raising money for a fantastic charity.”
Peter Thorn, Communication and Education Lead Manager at EDF Energy, added: “This is the second year running that a team of our adventurous employees is taking on the Arctic Survival challenge and EDF Energy is really pleased to be supporting them. It’s a fantastic opportunity to not only take on the challenge of a life-time but a unique way to raise funds for our company charity partner, the British Paralympic Association. The team members have all sought individual sponsorship and carried out additional fundraising activities, and we are hoping they will raise in excess of £10,000.
“All of our employees have contributed to making this charity partnership a success and the energy and enthusiasm put into fundraising has clearly paid off, as our grand total currently stands at over £636,000, an achievement that we are extremely proud of.”

2012 Swedish canoe expedition

We have just got back from our recent successful canoe trip from Sweden this year. 23rd-29th July 2012

We set off from Heathrow itching to get away from the chaos of modern life with the help of Scandinavian Airlines and as soon as we arrived at our cabin location in Sweden where a meal by an open fire was waiting, we then all began to relax.
The trip was basically seven days in total with five days on the water paddling from Alviken to lit, the weather was kind to us, not too hot during the day and not too cold during the night, the river water levels were high for this time of year due to the high rainfall in the spring which meant that we could go down the faster moving water sections without too many problems or swimmers shall we say.
It was the first group to test all of our new mad River canoes and equipment and all performed superbly…a few scratches here and there, which is normal.

The group dynamics were amazing with ages ranging from 15 to 65. With spirits so high and laughter all along the way nothing stood in our way.

As we were away for the Olympic ceremony we decided to run our own woodland Olympics on the open evening, improvisation was paramount so we played using a rock for the shot put a plastic plate for the discuss and a smoke flare for the torch, not to mention a game of rounder’s, British bulldog (that should be an event by the way) limbo and wheel barrow races.
All very impromptu but still excellent fun.

We started our day by being dropped off at the canoe start point by private coach, where upon arrival we sorted all the equipment and canoes out and had an our of familiarization to canoeing and some paddle coaching and a safety brief.

We then spent the next five days paddling our way down river taking in all the scenery and doing a spot of fishing along the way where finally we made it to our final destination with fifteen minutes to spare…phew, and then it was back to the cabin by coach for a well-earned rest and a BBQ.

The vast majority of people slept in DD Hammocks each evening that was a new concept to some people of the group and are now fully converted to hammock life in the outdoors.

Then it was back to Heathrow airport to re instate some stress back into our lives…yay.