Paul Nicholaides of Meltham who is to do the Zambezi river challenge in aid of the Mines Advisory Group.

Paul Nicholaides of Meltham who is to do the Zambezi river challenge in aid of the Mines Advisory Group.

Meltham’s Paul Nicholaides set for the challenge of a lifetime on the River Zambezi

Paul Nicholaides is set to endure sweltering heat, blistered hands and high humidity by paddling 100km across the Zambezi River – one of the toughest rivers in Africa. To prepare for the challenge he is training in Huddersfield, the Lake District and even Peru.

The 28-year-old will be fundraising for the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a not-for-profit organisation that clears landmines.

Paul, a business analyst, said: “I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time but I’ve been busy developing my career.

“Now I’m settled in Meltham I decided it’s the right time and I don’t want to just challenge myself, I want to do something that benefits others.”

Paul is in training for the adventure already, practising at Huddersfield Sports Centre to develop his skills. He will transfer his training to the Lake District and do the Inca Trail in Peru before taking on the river feat in November.

During the challenge he’ll use paddle moors – traditional dug out wooden canoes – and inflatable kayaks on the upper river towards Victoria Falls.

Danger will not be far away as he’ll have to negotiate unforgiving rapids and dodge wildlife including crocodiles and the most aggressive and dangerous animals in Africa – the hippo!

The challenge ends with the daunting prospect of rafting below the Falls in the notorious Batoka Gorge, the most challenging and tempestuous white water rapids in the world.

Paul added: “MAG is a charity that I am extremely passionate about. I do not want to let them down and will do everything I can to raise funds for the important works they carry out across the world.

“MAGs vision is a safe and secure future for men, women and children affected by armed violence and conflict.”

MAG has worked in more than 40 countries since 1989 to save lives and build futures by reclaiming land contaminated with remnants of conflict.

Paul has set himself a fundraising target of £3,850 and has hosted bake sales and other events at his Leeds office, with more planned.

From : Examiner

By Joanne Douglas

10 February 2014