Local hero Louise Helyer conquered UK’s toughest one day event to tackle child poverty
Louise Helyer, the Scottish pentathlete from Angus, took on the UK’s toughest one-day endurance event last Saturday to help children escape hunger and violence in the developing world. Louise made it round the Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon in the Scottish Highlands together with Harry Waugh in thirteen hours and three mins.
After months of training Louise and Harry are delighted to have achieved such a huge personal challenges and raise £1,250 for Mercy Corps and Mary’s Meals.
Louise said: “It was one of the toughest day of our life but the stunning views and our unbreakable team spirit got us through in the end. We’re delighted to have supported such great charities to tackle poverty and violence in hot spots around the world.”
Billed as the UK’s toughest one-day event, conditions were perfect for the dawn swim across Loch Tay, a walk/run across seven munros (including Ben Lawers), an eight mile kayak followed by a 36 mile cycle around the loch.
After crossing the finish line to split a watermelon in two with a cavalry sword Louise and Harry ended off the day dancing reels to a ceilidh band and watching a dazzling firework display on the loch shore.
The Quadrathlon, organized by WildFox Events, has helped raise £5 million to bring hope to 14.5 million people in the world’s poorest countries since it started 12 years ago. This year’s 260 quadrathletes raised more than £200,000 to fund Mercy Corps’ work with child soldiers in a deadly, cocaine-fueled conflict has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.
There are as many as 16,000 child soldiers in Colombia and a quarter of all combatants in armed groups like the FARC are under 18 years old. Children often start service as couriers, informants and transporters of food and ammunition before moving up in the ranks, taking up arms and serving as cannon fodder on the front lines, planting landmines, and making explosives because of their small hands.
Mercy Corps is rehabilitating these young people and preventing the recruitment of others. They provide a safe environment for former child combatants to live and process their experiences, overcome trauma and learn how to function again in society. This is done at specialist transitional centres with a mix of psychosocial support, life skills training, sports and relaxation activities, vocational training and business start-up support.
The event is also fundraising for Mary’s Meals, an international movement that has set up school feeding programmes in some of the world’s poorest countries, providing hungry children in places such as Malawi, Liberia, Kenya, Haiti and Uganda with vital nutrition and encouraging them to learn.
You can still support Team Tri-Harder and Mercy Corp’s work with child soldiers by donating online: http://www.justgiving.com/Harrison-Waugh
There is an ‘early bird’ discount for anyone who signs up now for next year’s Artemis Quadrathlon to be held in July 2013. For more info check out www.artemisgreatkindrochit.com