Winter Olympians support Snowdonia challenge

A TEAM of Wiltshire Air Ambulance supporters had the support of two Olympians when they completed a fundraising challenge in Snowdonia National Park.

The 13-strong group – which included the charity’s ambassador Shelley Rudman and her husband Kristan Bromley – braved the rain to take part in a 12-mile cycle ride around the base of Mount Snowdon before trekking to the summit. After descending down the mountain their final test involved kayaking in a lake.

The sponsorship raised by the team, which currently stands at £7,200, will help Wiltshire Air Ambulance to continue its lifesaving work.

Swindon-born Shelley, who won a silver medal in skeleton at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, was also joined by four of her personal training clients.

“I’ve not been to Snowdon before so it was a good challenge for me,” said Shelley, who lives in Pewsey Vale.

“Although it was disappointing we didn’t get to see the spectacular views from the top of Snowdon due to limited vision and non-stop onslaught of rain, we all thought it made the event so much more of a challenge to accomplish.

“We were all really pleased we took on the challenge – it was a really good mixture of adventure, teamwork, challenge and accomplishments.

“Being with a genuinely lovely group of people was also fantastic. We all supported and helped each other, even though many of us hadn’t met before, and this made it much more of a team event with lots of laughter.

“Throughout it all the donations and support we have received from friends, family and the public has been fantastic and thank you to everyone who has donated.”

Also in the team in north west Wales were Wiltshire Air Ambulance critical care paramedics Richard Miller and Ben Abbott, plus their friend and paramedic Simon Stigwood.

Richard said: “It was great to do the challenge alongside Shelley and her team and to get to know everyone who did the challenge and fundraised for the charity.

“To experience this challenge with them, to hear about why they wanted to support Wiltshire Air Ambulance and raise money for the charity together was a great opportunity.”

Kenresa Stratford, events co-ordinator at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, was among the support team on the day. She paid tribute to the unwavering commitment of the participants in the difficult weather conditions.

She said: “The event went really well. We had such a determined group and nothing was going to stop them, even when at the summit we were all soaked through, cold and hungry, we still made the best of the situation and kept going!

“I’d like to thank everyone for their efforts and their fundraising, which will enable us to continue saving lives.

“Also, thank you to the team from Adventurous Ewe for making sure all the elements of this challenge ran as smoothly as possible and putting the participants’ best interests and safety first.”

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