Life is defined by moments
A general rule of thumb is never mix sport and politics, but at times you have to show your support for a cause that truly means something to you and your sports club. For us at Falklands Xtreme Sports that one day is 14th June which celebrates the Liberation of the Falkland Islands and is our day to remember those brave men that fought and died to protect and bring freedom back to the people of the Falklands Islands. Without their efforts we may not have been able to write something as simple as this blog post, create a sports club or obtain international membership with the ISBHF.....the list is endless!
Stevie Bennett and myself recently yomped The 3 Peaks Challenge that includes Tumbledown Mountain, Two Sisters Mountain and Mount Longdon which are 3 battlegrounds sites from the Falklands conflict, check out the links on our website for further information on The 3 Peaks Challenge. It hits home when you are out following the 3 Peaks Route just how difficult it must have been for the British soldiers in 1982 to battle in the difficult terrain. Whilst on Mount Longdon you will be brought into the exact position where Sgt Ian McKay was killed in action whilst taking out an enemy position. Because of his bravery and his actions it helped swing the battle in favour of the Parachute Regiment to push forward to take Mount Longdon. Standing there on the steepest slope in The 3 Peaks Challenge, looking back down and then up its just awe inspiring as to how they had taken this Mountain and it made me think, our lives are defined on moments and its how you deal with that moment. Sgt Ian McKay would have known as he moved to attack the position on Longdon that is own safety was at risk, but he chose that moment in his life to make a difference and in the face of adversity he succeeded and lost his life in doing so. It is people like Sgt Ian McKay that we are able to continue on with our lives and make every moment in our lives count. This is why sport and politics can and should be allowed to cross over.
We have been inundated with registration forms for The 3 Peaks Challenge which currently stands at 67 entrants with a few more to follow so is looking possible for at least 70 people undertaking the challenge which is incredible! The Falkland Islands Company Ltd will be sponsoring the event and have provided water, marshal assistance, T-shirts, prizes and of course the important St. Helena Pea Soup at the finish line :). FIC has been nothing short of fantastic and highly supportive of the event which is raising money to send a Falkland Islands adult ball hockey team to Slovakia in June 2019 and to help raise funds for SAMA82. If you are unsure of SAMA82 they are the South Atlantic Medal Association 1982 and help to support the veterans of the Falklands conflict.
As with any fundraising attempts we are always amazed by the support we receive either on the day or the build up. The POD Gift shop were excellent in ensuring the T-shirts and prizes were all sorted and ready for the day and worked with us closely to ensure the final design was exactly how we wanted, top notch customer service. We have received support from Timmy Francis and all of his biker mates to provide marshal duties on the day, Karen Rozee for First Aid cover. To ensure the highly important Pea Soup (made by Susan Knipe and The Crozier Cafe) is kept warm, Hillside Camp have generously loaned military grade food containers. It never ceases to amaze me how the Falkland Islands people and the military always come together to help make these events happen. I have always been interested to know exactly how much money the Falkland Islanders have raised over the years for local and international causes, it must be some figure for a population of 3000 people!
The Falkland Islands Defence Force have generously provided their services for the day with them providing communication cover, quick reaction First Aid, and logistical support for the event. Having the FIDF involved really helped to allay the concerns of the KEMH after a brief phone call with them :). With the links to SAMA82 it is really nice to see the FIDF coming out to support the event and we at Falklands Xtreme Sports are proud to share that link with them. And who knows, those entering the challenge may just see this as a great opportunity to join the FIDF and put themselves through even more challenges. Having experienced time with the FIDF and as a current member I can assure you it is worth doing and helps you to learn a lot about yourself. The types of skills and experience you can gain from being part of the FIDF is endless and to know that its also to benefit the Islands and its community. Don't get me wrong its not all rainbows and sunshine, its hard, its tough and at times you will be questioning why you are sitting on the top of a hill during stag at 2:00am in the morning rather than at home tucked up in a nice warm bed. But you do it because you can take stock that what you do is for your country and that you are there training to protect those that are tucked up in their beds at 2:00am. One of the biggest pluses from joining up is the friendships you will make and the feeling of being part of a larger family. Give it a go as if you dont it will be something you may just regret in your life. So #stepup!
So with that its 1:30am and no I am not typing this from some hilltop during a stag duty but on the sofa checking out all the build up to the World Cup 2018. I fear my drawing of England in the FIC work sweep stake is £5 I will never see again! But the most important thing I never forget is I can do all this at my leisure because I was given that freedom by those brave men in 1982 and is something that I and my children will never forget.