Pushing the limits of what’s possible for the Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team

by Tara Allison

From Give and Match programmes in the Philippines to supporting photography students in the heart of London, Trend Micro contributes to a range of worthy causes across the globe. Yet few embody the resilience, determination and awesome potential of the human spirit to overcome the greatest of obstacles, than the Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team (AFPST). We’ve teamed up with them before, notably on a Climb Everest challenge. But a new fundraising effort could be the boldest yet.

An “adaptive” team* will attempt to become the first ever to kayak the waters between Land’s End and John O’Groats—a 1,400 kilometre trip. In so doing, they’re hoping to raise £100,000 for AFPST. Click here to donate.

Who is the AFPST?
The AFPST exists as an independent service charity founded to help support wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans as they battle their way to recovery. These are men and women who made huge sacrifices to serve their country, and with the AFPST’s help, their efforts won’t be forgotten. Through its work, the charity helps to foster a sense of purpose, camaraderie and self-confidence among these individuals—by motivating and inspiring them through a competitive snow sports programme.

Trend Micro’s involvement with the AFPST really took off a few years ago when we met and heard from some of its athletes during a mid-year kick off at the British Army Training Regiment in Winchester. We were so impressed by the commitment, passion and positivity of these individuals, that we subsequently held a Climb Everest Challenge to raise money and awareness for the charity. Thanks to pledges from our partner community, we were able to raise thousands during the 442 ascents of the indoor climbing walls at Oakwood.

Introducing Kayak 4 Heroes
As impressive as these efforts were, they’re about to be blown out of the water, almost literally, by Kayak 4 Heroes. The team of five, which includes individuals with injuries and disabilities, have set off from the southern tip of Cornwall earlier this month and are tackling some of the UK’s toughest and most exposed waters before finishing their journey in northern Scotland 1,400 kilometres later.

It’s an iconic route but one rarely attempted by water. The team aims to beat the current record for completing the journey of 35 days.

Its thanks to the work of the AFPST that the Kayak 4 Heroes team met. They are:

  • Former RAF Regiment Gunner Luke Wigman
  • Former Army officer and ultra-marathon runner, Jonny Huntington
  • Former mountaineer and Army reservist, Darren Edwards
  • Former Royal Army Physical Training Corps officer, Carl Simmons
  • Former British Army officer, Ben Gallagher
  • Former UK Special Forces soldier and directing staff from Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, Ollie Ollerton.

We are cheering on the team every step of the way, and doing our bit to help them reach their £100,000 fundraising goal. On that front, watch this space for more details from Trend Micro UK later this summer. Good luck guys!

Click here to donate.

(*”Adaptive” means in this context that the team will contain individuals with injuries and disabilities)

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