In March this year, 11 brave individuals flew out to Sweden to take on the challenge of Bobath Wales’ inaugural Scandinavian Snow Trek.
Over the course of five days the team, lead by Emrys Davies from Breaking Trail Adventures and Matt Larrson Clifford from Sweden Outdoors Coaching, trekked across 36km of snow, ice and steep climbs as they explored the Jamtland Triangle.
“It always amazes me when a group of individuals, some of whom have never met each other before, bond so well,” said Emrys. “On the practice expedition I could tell that they were a team that were serious about the task ahead. Our day in the Brecon Beacons during that practice expedition was extremely challenging weather wise but they were up to it.”
“When it came to the actual challenge it was clear to the team that this was a serious task, the weather was positively arctic in nature but once again the team showed they were robust enough to complete the challenge. It was a truly amazing experience in a stunning part of the world, made more amazing by the people who took part and I thank them all for being so determined.”
Out of the 11 individuals who took part in the trek, three were parents of children who receive specialist therapy at Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre Wales. One of these is Kirsty Hougham who completed the challenge alongside her dad, Kevin Hougham, and cousin, Adam Bush.
After spending time at the therapy centre with her son Isaac, aged 2, Kirsty decided to take up the challenge of the snow trek as a way of saying ‘Thank you’ for all the hard work the therapists have put into Isaac’s therapy blocks so far. She also aspired to do something motivational for her son.
“Being able to take part in the Bobath Snow Trek Challenge is something I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life,” said Kirsty. “The area the challenge took place in is absolutely breathtaking to look at and when we weren’t being pelted by the wind and snow it was a truly beautiful place. The last day was a difficult climb up a mountain and reaching the top and getting a hug from my dad made it all worthwhile. I just remember everyone shouting to keep going. To look out and think of all we had achieved it made me proud that I had done this for Isaac and for myself.”
Also part of the trek team were Andrew and Caroline Cooksley, both of whom have been supporters of Bobath Wales for many years. Caroline became a trustee for Bobath Wales in 2017 and decided to take part in the charity’s inaugural trek alongside her husband Andrew to help raise money and awareness for the charity.
“The challenge itself looked like a great experience and very different to anything I had ever done before,” said Caroline. “The Jamtland triangle was fantastic to experience. However, the weather wasn’t very kind to us and made for more of a challenge than expected! The group we did it with were all wonderful and everyone encouraged each other to complete each day. It really helped motivate us that most of the group were parents – and even a grandparent – of children using Bobath services. They all could not express how much Bobath had helped their children and hoped would be able to continue to. This motivated us to get up at 5am each morning!
Bobath Wales is a wonderful charity and I would highly encourage anyone who is thinking about taking up a challenge for Bobath Wales to take part in their next trek… you won’t regret it!”