HOME and BACK DOWN TO
Having now arrived home and having had 'some'
time to reflect back I feel that my recent
venture, called Project '98 'The roof of
Africa on wheels' was, in all, a total success.
A success, I feel I must add, which could
not have been achieved without the full
support of my wife, family, and the support
team, headed by Derek Groves, all for whom
I have the greatest of respect.
I would also like, at this point, to thank
all of the sponsors both material and financial
and whether large or small for their part
in the success of the project and their
faith in me. Furthermore I would like to
thank Dave Lynch and VisualEyes for enabling
us to share the project with thousands around
the world through the Bluedome web site
and the readers of those pages who had sent
us goodwill messages.
Even though I was, at the time, 'peeved'
at having not made the summit, this being
due more to the fact that I know we could
have done it with just one extra day, a
bit more financial backing and a lot less
bureaucracy! than any other reason, I can
now appreciate the goals we did really achieve.
All of the values, aims and objectives that
I had conceived, along with Derek Groves,
some 18 months ago in our promotional booklet
have been carried out, which itself is an
Although, due to the financial and time
constraints and bureaucracy, I did not quite
reach the 'summit'of Mt. Kilimanjaro, I
not only created a 'world first' by getting
higher on a mountain, in a wheelchair, than
anyone has been before, some 16,000 + ft,
but we also achieved the following: -
Awareness of what people with disabilities
can achieve, even more so of peoples abilities
not disabilities! This was achieved not
only through world-wide BBC Television &
Radio but also widespread press articles
and full time coverage given on the bluedome
internet site. It will be followed by a
video, already accepted for an international
symposium being held in Spain next year,
and a book. We have just been told that
the BBC is considering doing a longer feature
on the expedition.
Through cultural exchange within the host
country we supplied our coaching and educational
expertise and ëgiftedí educational
and sporting equipment to areas of greatest
need, after which we have now taken on three
projects that we hope to help with further
resources. These are the 'street kids' project,
the School for the Blind and the K.C.M.C.
hospital. Their needs are basic and would
make good use of materials that are possibly
discarded over here due to advancement of
technology etc. We would like to ask anyone
who might feel able to offer help with resources
like Wheelchairs, Braille Typewriters or
basic educational materials to contact us
through my e-mail address, which you will
find in the diary pages.
The only thing that Project '98 has left
to do now is the ultimate task of fundraising.
We already have several fundraising events
planned around the country between now and
July, but we are still seeking help from
companies that may be willing to help in
one or more ways.
These are primarily to make a donation towards
our chosen charity, the British Wheelchair
Sports Foundation in celebration of their
50th anniversary. Cheques should be made
payable to Project '98 and all the monies
raised will go into a designated fund to
help the young or newly disabled get 'back
into life' through sport.
Alternatively to consider the sponsorship
of either a new attempt to 'top' Kilimanjaro,
which we now know, is achievable and we
are also looking for potential sponsors
for my next big 'challenge', which is already
being provisionally planned for the year