Monday, November 2, 2009

The Kaspersky Commonwealth Women's Antarctic Expedition

This year, the 52 member states of the Commonwealth with a total of nearly 2 billion people, will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its founding. The celebrations have already begun in Britain where Queen Elizabeth II is the nominal head of this organisation. On a smaller scale a British geologist and adventurer...Felicity Aston, age 31, has taken upon herself to initiate and organise an all women expedition to the South Pole. The team comprising members selected from more than 800 applicants worldwide finally settled on one woman from each of the following countries...Brunei, Cyprus, Ghana, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Singapore and Britain.
The latest news I have as I'm typing this from the team's live website is that the selected rep from Ghana will not be able to make it as she is down with malaria and will not recover in time. In her place will be a substitute from UK.

Singapore's representative is none other than SOPHIA PANG selected from more than 80 local applicants.
This 36 year old mother of 3 kids, a freelance IT as well as fitness instructor has all the attributes to make such an arduous journey.
She is a resident of Aljunied GRC and had approached Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Minister in PMO and MP for Serangoon Gardens to be her official patron. Thus on Thursday 29 October 2009, unk Dicko and other GROs were at Terminal 3 Changi Airport to bid her a "Bon Voyage" as she took the night SIA flight to London. From there, the team will proceed to Argentina before setting off for the Antartic on November 10.
Others who came to send her off included her special team of medical and physical trainers from the Changi Sports Medicine and Research Centre headed by Dr Ben Tan.
Unk Dicko with Sophia and her 2 personal trainers. I had a chat with them about the kind of training she had undergone for such a challenge.
From the description given, I can tell you it is no joke...not for the ordinary man or woman.
Sophia has the physical and mental toughness to remain on top of this very tough 40 day ski-trek into the heart of the Antartic iceland.
Btw, Dr Ben Tan ( our Asian Games Gold medal winning sailor) was a former student from HCJC...around 84/85.

Many of you may not know how hard Sophia had to work at getting funding. The entire expedition was at one stage in danger of being dropped
as no major sponsor could be found...that was not until Sophia herself managed to get a Singapore company Byteworks, a local distributor for Kaspersky Lab, a Russian computer security firm to agree to sponsor the entire team to the tune of US$500,000 ( S$711,201 ). It was an unbelievable achievement by itself!
Read the full story, with more details in the two accompanying links below.
Next post ...more pics!

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