No Limits for Czech Republic Gold Award Participants
Published: 2 Jun 2016
A group of ten young people from Pilsen, in the Czech Republic, are embarking on a challenging three-week expedition in the Himalayas, as part of their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
The students, aged 15-19, will hike 5,000 metres above sea level to Little Tibet this August with wheelchair user, Jan Krauskopf. Milan Nguyen, aged 19, explains:
“We invited Jan to join us as he’s taken on lots of challenges. He appeared on a special episode of Czech television show, Star Dance, has completed hand-bike marathons and trekked in the Austrian Alps. He’s such a positive, funny guy who motivates all of us.
Some of us also chose to work with wheelchair users for the voluntary Service part of the Award, where we learnt a lot. We named our group ‘No Limits’ as we want to show there are no barriers to achieving your goals."
To prepare for surviving independently in the harsh conditions and navigating unknown terrain, the group recently completed a 50km training expedition in the Czech forests. They have also trained in first aid and handling high risk situations.
Milan reflects on what he has learnt so far: “I think the most important thing is taking responsibility for our acts. Team members are relying on you and you are relying on them, no one can or should fail in their roles whether that’s cook, navigator, medic or film maker.
We want show the world that young people can do anything if they believe in themselves, have the courage to undertake challenges and be fully prepared for them.”
The students will be producing a documentary film about their experience, to inspire other young to take on new challenges. They hope the film will also raise awareness and understanding of people with disabilities and fundraise for local charities.
“There is no similar or comparable students challenge in the Czech Republic and we are very proud of them", said Tomáš Vokáč, Director of the Czech National Award Office.