A lot has been happening this month and our athletes have been very busy learning, training, and racing.
Earlier this month, Humi once again achieved an outstanding duathlon result, winning the National South Asian Duathlon Championships. Meanwhile, in trail running, Chhechi was able to participate against top-class competition in the World Trail Running Championships in Spain. She successfully completed the 85km mountain course in 12:09, pacing herself strategically and working her way through the field in the more challenging second half of the race. She finished strong in 45th place out of 116 international elite women. Full results here.
On the education side, all five athletes were selected for the Nepal Mountain Academy female trekking guide certification programme. Chhechi’s unmet education criteria initially proved a hurdle for enrolling on the course, but with support from Exchange and Empower and proof of her sporting achievements, she was able to qualify for selection. All five have embarked on the 5-week course starting 20 May, joining a cohort of outstanding women with diverse experience in tourism and outdoor/adventure sports. They will study a wide range of topics including Nepalese history and heritage, Himalayan geography and ecosystems, map reading and navigation, mountain safety and hazards, group management and leadership and much more. Successful completion of the course will give the athletes a professional guiding licence, empowering them for a sustainable career in the future. A reputable trekking agency has already expressed interest in collaborating with the athletes for female-led hiking weekend tours. Watch this space.
The athletes are also progressing well in their English classes and have taken a first progress test. Their teacher commended their work ethic and commitment, and noted that their confidence in spoken English is steadily improving.
In June, the athletes will continue with their trekking guide course and English studies and their ongoing running training, whilst we will look to continue expanding professional and sporting opportunities for them. With regards to fundraising, over USD8000 has been raised for Exchange and Empower to date, and we would like to thank our donors in Hong Kong and elsewhere for their continued support. If you would like to contribute the programme, please get in touch.