Cairngorms National Park

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Sign up for adventure in the Cairngorms National Park

25th June 2009

Ever fancied a wee adventure in the Cairngorms National Park but weren’t sure you could do it? Well, now’s your chance.

Disabled and non-disabled people of all ages are invited to take part over the weekend of July 4 and 5 in the Equal Adventure Festival, which gives everyone an opportunity to try a range of outdoor activities regardless of their ability or agility.

So far about 60 people have signed up for the event, which will take place within the grounds of Glenmore Lodge near Aviemore. However, there are still places available.

All of the activities at the festival, which has been part financed by the Scottish Government, the European Community – Cairngorms Local Action Group LEADER 2007 – 2013 Programme, Cairngorms National Park Authority and Scottish Natural Heritage, have been designed to allow individuals to enjoy the challenge at their own level and pace.

Participants will have the opportunity to take part in orienteering, forest hikes, paddling circuits, kayak slalom, and problem-solving team tasks.

The event is being organised by an award winning Scottish charity, Equal Adventure, which creates adventurous activities and resources for people of all abilities.

The festival’s activities will be modified and adapted to suit the needs of everyone taking part. Volunteers will also be available to enable full participation and enjoyment.

All those involved in the Festival will also be raising money for two international charities, Motivation and 500 Miles, whose aims are to enable people with varying disabilities in developing countries to live and contribute to society.

Suresh Paul, Director of Equal Adventure, said: “Too often disabled people are considered unable to compete in adventure sports and challenges. With the right approach and facilities this notion can be completely dispelled; that’s where the Equal Adventure Festival comes in.

“As well as providing a challenge that is accessible to all, the event will empower those with impairments to support disabled people in developing countries. By fundraising for two major international disability charities, disabled people can act as ambassadors to bring about a lasting change in the quality of life experienced by those with disabilities in developing countries.”

As well as all the outdoor activities at the event, there will also be a chance to use a spitfire simulator which has been developed in conjunction with real spitfire pilots.

Squadron Leader Al Pinner the officer in command of the Battle of Britain memorial flight based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, said of the simulator: “It is the nearest thing to flying a real spitfire that I have ever experienced.”

In addition, the Equal Adventure Festival will provide an opportunity those taking part to meet and compete with one of the UK’s top disabled adventurers, Jamie Andrew, who had his hands and feet amputated following an accident in the French Alps.

Jamie, who continues to climb and mountaineer at a high standard whilst using four prosthetics, will be one of several inspirational speakers at the event.

He said: “It seems to me that our greatest limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves. I want to encourage others to throw out these misconceptions and to be all they can be.”

The Festival will not just be about exercise but fun stuff too, with Saturday evening entertainment lined up including a traditional Scottish Ceilidh, with dancing and singing.

Participants are invited to camp within the grounds of Glenmore Lodge with the choice of wheelchair-accessible accommodation if required, and full catering for the weekend is included.

Anyone wishing to take part should email [email protected] or phone 01479 861200.

The organisers of the Festival are grateful to rock climbing country Wild Country and outdoor waterproof specialists Nikwax for their support.