The team members of the Commonwealth Women’s Antarctic Expedition, including Jamaican team member, Kim-Marie Spence, are going to New Zealand for their last training camp on September 1st. This is the last time the team will be together ahead of their flight to Antarctica in November. Kim-Marie Spence will be the first Jamaican to ski to the South Pole ever!!
The camp will be in the South Island of New Zealand and will be on a New Zealand military base roughing it out – perfecting tenting techniques and pulling 120kg sleds – in preparation for Antarctica.
The Commonwealth Women’s Antarctic Expedition (CWAE) is a team of 8 women from the Commonwealth countries of Brunei Darussalam, Cyprus, Ghana, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom who will ski together this November to South Pole. They will brave blizzards, and extreme temperatures to ski across Antarctica, the only continent without a native population. The aim of the expedition is to demonstrate the potential of greater inter-cultural understanding, raise awareness of climate change and highlight the achievements of women around the World. 8 Women, 7 languages, 6 faiths, 5 continents!
This Jamaican journey to the South Pole, popularly called the ‘SouthPole Trod’, has included a number of memorable stops. There was the virgin trip to the Blue Mountain Peak with fellow finalist Alecia Maragh in January. Then there was the training camp in the middle of nowhere in Norway. Now is the training period, complete with pulling tyres on Cable Hut Beach; training sessions with Juliet Cuthbert and JDF’s Leon Barnaby; and freezer training at Crazy Jim.
In addition, the fundraising drive has included a combination of public and corporate support. The public have been sending cheques and cash to us through our Jamaica National account or by contacting me through the media. Moreover, the media and the public supported FROZEN – the benefit event held at Susie’s Bakery on the 10th of July.
Some corporate support has flowed in – though more is needed. Jamaica National sent the Jamaican finalists to Norway. LASCO, Crazy Jim, Zanders Harrison & Associates among others supported FROZEN. Now WATA/Nature Valley, Digicel and Grace Foods are giving financial support to the expedition. But more is needed – Kim-Marie is barely making it to New Zealand.