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Wing Commander
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
David Newman, boss of Britain’s biggest biker insurance broker, Altrincham-based Carole Nash is to trek 110Km across Arctic Ocean Ice to the North Pole to raise cash for Charley Boorman-backed charity Riders for Health.

Riders For Health helps health workers in Africa have effective transport. Newman will also be raising money for BASIC, the Brain And Spinal Injury Centre in Eccles, Salford.

The expedition, dubbed On Top of the World, will last two to three weeks. Newman will be walking and skiing from a Russian ice station situated at about 89 degrees North to reach the Pole.

He will be joined by just three other adventurers and team leader Rune Gjeldnes, one of the world’s leading Arctic explorers.

Shifting ice
“This is a great personal challenge, with many physical and mental obstacles to overcome. The risks are not insignificant, with the ice shifting and the possibility of stumbling into open water,” Newman said.

“I’ve trained hard for this, making sure I’m fit for what will be the most physically demanding thing I’ve ever attempted and I will also spend time acclimatising in Svalbard, one of the world’s most northerly islands.”

Boorman – boring?
Charley Boorman said: “Anyone who says people working in insurance are boring should take a good look at what he’s attempting. This is a serious challenge and I’m delighted that David has chosen to support Riders For Health because I’ve seen with my own eyes the absolutely vital work they do.”

Riders For Health says any money raised will fund its International Academy of Vehicle Management in Harare, Zimbabwe – a specialist training school that trains health workers in safe riding and driving, vehicle maintenance and fleet management.

Down to BASICs
BASIC’s fundraiser Andy Golightly (also pictured) said: “Management and staff of Carole Nash have visited the centre a few times to see the work we do in helping rebuild the lives of those who have suffered brain or spinal injuries.

“Clearly those experiences have had a great personal impact on David and we’re immensely grateful that he’s chosen to support us.”

Newman said: “I’d love this expedition to raise the tens of thousands required to fund in total both of these projects. It’s a daunting amount, but I’ll give it my very best as they’re both such worthy causes.

“What I can say for certain is that as the actual cost of taking on this challenge has already been found, every single penny raised will go directly to the two charities.”

On top of the world
Newman will begin the On Top of the World challenge on 4 April. Newman is flying to Longyearbyen via Oslo and Tromso where he will spend two to three days training and acclimatising.

He will then fly on a short runway jet (Antonov 74) to Barneo, landing at a temporary ice station built annually by the Russians to serve scientific, environmentalist and expedition teams.

An immediate start on the 110km (68 miles) trek is planned with up to ten days allowed for David and fellow team members to haul their own sledge to the North Pole.

The expedition involves skiing across frozen sea with the team journeying above 4,000 metres (13,124 feet) of frozen water. The terrain will include ice-fields, pack ice, thin ice and open water. The expedition will be completed under 24-hour sunlight with temperatures typically between -25oC and -35oC.

Riders for Health
Riders For Health is an international non-governmental organisation born out of the world of motorcycle racing. Its mission is to ensure that health workers in Africa have uninterrupted access to reliable transport. Without such transport, all health care projects fail.

Using an innovative social enterprise model, Riders for Health has put in place reliable preventive maintenance systems for two- and four-wheeled vehicles used in health care delivery allowing health workers to reach rural villages time and time again.

It operates programmes in Zimbabwe, the Gambia, Lesotho, Nigeria and Zambia. It works with ministries of health, UN agencies and local humanitarian organisations.

All programmes are managed by wholly-African, wholly-professional teams, and not by volunteers or expatriates. This means that Riders is able to build a lasting base of local knowledge and a culture of maintenance in the communities with which it works.

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Riders for Health
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