A young athlete is trekking 100km across Greenland to raise money for disabled children after a hip injury gave him an insight into the struggles of disability.
Jamie Lambert, a gifted 14-year-old athlete from Plumpton, aims to complete the trek in seven days, to raise funds to provide more sporting opportunities for disabled children.
Jamie was inspired to raise money after suffering a debilitating hip injury when competing at the English Schools Championships in July last year,and was out of action for six months.
This led him to acknowledge what it feels like to be permanently disabled.
“Despite my frustration when I was injured, this period made me truly appreciate the challenges and difficulties that disabled teenagers must face when trying to involve themselves in sporting activities,” he said.
“I’m hoping to use this expedition to help them get doing what I love doing’.
Travelling as part of a four-man team, Jamie will be embarking on his Artic adventure on 24 March, starting from base camp at Kulusuk before returning via a sea ice route. They will be self-supporting, travelling on skis & foot, hauling sledges weighing 50kg containing all supplies & equipment and camping overnight away from settlement and communication.
Jamie is fundraising for Active Sussex, the charity working to increase the number of children and young people participating in sport and physical activity in Sussex, with funds going towards running the Parallel Youth Games 2015 event – a multi-sport competition for disabled school children in Sussex.
Jamie said he recognises the importance that events like the Parallel Youth Games have in creating fully inclusive sporting opportunities for young people.
He is a member of the Sussex Athletics Squad and trains with Brighton & Hove Athletics Club. In June 2014 he was a gold medalist in the Junior Boys Hurdles at the County School Championships, before going on to qualify for the National English Schools Competition in July.
To prepare for the inhospitable environment of minus-30 degree temperatures, crevasses and potential polar bears, Jamie is in the middle of a gruelling training regime.
Recent trips have included a trip to the snowy Peak District to practice cross-country skiing and carrying excess weight. The team are also acclimatising themselves through endurance training in an altitude chamber at Brighton University.
Jamie is fundraising to reach his £3,000 target to cover the costs of running the 2015 Parallel Youth Games, at The Triangle Leisure Centre in Burgess Hill on 10 June10. To sponsor visit www.localgiving.com/greenland4activesussex