Fundraising team prepare for Cotopaxi summit attempt
Staff from Leeds Met's Carnegie Great Outdoors are leading a cross-party team of MPs and serving soldiers as they attempt to reach the 19,347 feet summit of Cotopaxi in Ecuador in aid of The Royal British Legion.
The 'Battle Back & Mountaineering APPG Cotopaxi Expedition 2014', has seen MPs Greg Mulholland, John Mann and Tracey Crouch from the UK Parliamentary Mountaineering Group joined by serving soldiers and veterans who have recently been helped by the Legion.
Sponsored by Coventry Building Society, the 12-strong group have already tackled the equatorial summit of Iliniza Norte and made an attempt on Cayambe in a bid to raise awareness of the Legion and its services.
The team is aiming to raise £10,000 for The Legion's Battle Back Centre based in Lilleshall, Shropshire, an adaptive sport and adventurous training facility for wounded, injured and sick Armed Forces personnel. Participants undertake sports such as climbing, caving, wheelchair basketball, clay shooting and archery to help overcome physical and psychological challenges, promote self-confidence and improve motivation to aid recovery.
Dave Bunting, Head Coach at The Battle Back Centre and the expedition Leader with Carnegie Great Outdoors, who also led the ground-breaking British Army Everest West Ridge Expedition in 2006, said: "Our courses at The Battle Back Centre are all about helping to boost self-confidence and improve motivation through adaptive sports for wounded, injured and sick soldiers, many who have been through traumatic or life-changing experiences.
Lyndon Chatting-Walters, who first attended the Battle Back Centre in 2012 and is one of the veterans on the expedition, said: "I can't pick one highlight from my Battle Back experience because there were so many. From the varied activities and help both physically and mentally, the encouragement and support, and the interaction. The support I received has given me the massive confidence boost I needed."
Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West added:"It is a huge privilege to be part of the Battle Back team taking on this expedition to climb Cotopaxi, one of the highest volcanos on the world.
"The Battle Back Centre does amazing work using adaptive sport and adventurous training to rehabilitate our brave servicemen and women who have been injured. This historic expedition, the first with a team from the Battle Back Centre, will be a big challenge physically and mentally and will allow us to highlight the work of the centre and greater awareness of the challenges brave servicemen and women face dealing with the physical and mental scars of conflict. We also hope to raise money for the Royal British Legion to help them fund the Centre and its fantastic work so I hope people will donate to help us do this and encourage us to reach the summit of Cotopaxi together as a team!".
The 'Battle Back & Mountaineering APPG Cotopaxi Expedition 2014' has been made possible with help from the UK Parliamentary Mountaineering Group, MOD, Carnegie Great Outdoors, Coventry Building Society, Polypipe, Youth Hotel Association, Berghaus and Jagged Globe.
Carnegie Great Outdoors
Carnegie Great Outdoors, part of Leeds Metropolitan University, is an outdoor adventure provider offering tailor made expeditions to some of the world's most amazing destinations. As providers as multi-activity and adaptive sports coaching at The Royal British Legion's Battle Back Centre, the team are proud to be organising the expedition and supplying highly qualified leaders who have extensive knowledge and expertise in the outdoors.