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Introducing your new Outdoor Heroes

3 October 2018

This year, we’ve been introducing you to some of the people that we think truly embody the spirit of the outdoors. Like us, these #OutdoorHeroes believe that adventure is for everyone; they break down barriers, inspire and educate, helping to get more people out and enjoying the world around us.

Whether it is helping to clean up canals and rivers of plastic pollution, teaching others, epic expeditions or just getting out to play at every opportunity, our #OutdoorHeroes are united in their love of the great outdoors.

In September we opened up our doors again to look for the next generation of heroes to join our team, and help us in getting everyone out enjoying adventure as often as possible.

There were some incredible stories shared with us, and so many great initiatives and people doing amazing work all over the UK, and around the world. However, we couldn’t choose everyone – so we buried ourselves away to narrow down the field, and choose the final six people who would join our team.

Outdoor Hero Coral Williams
Outdoor Hero Coral Williams.

First up is Coral Williams, who has ambitious adventure plans over the next year – taking on a personal challenge, and pushing her own boundaries.

“I am excited to be part of the Outdoor Hero team for 2019, to share the adventures that the next year holds. For me, being outdoors is a time to reflect on what is important. This year I turn 30 and as a personal challenge I plan on marking the occasion with 30 outdoor adventures.”

Coral’s ‘30 for 30’ plan perfectly sums up the essence of our Outdoor Heroes, taking the time to get active – whatever that may be. It doesn’t need to be the highest mountain, lowest valley or widest river; every adventure is something to be achieved, whether it’s your first time, reaching your personal best, or just finding the time to get active around everything else in your busy schedule.

Steph Sanders, of almostdefinitelyoutside.com, is another that is inspiring others to get active during the daily grind.

“I aim to inspire the people who feel like they don’t have time to get outside. The outdoors is the ultimate antidote to adult life, and I am dedicated to maximising time exploring outside.”

An inspiration for budding adventurers everywhere, Sanders cover everyone from young people who haven’t yet taken their first steps on the hill, to people who are struggling to find the time, getting them to lace up their boots – and we’d add a trusty pair of gaiters – and head out into the great outdoors.

On finding out she was chosen as one of our Outdoor Heroes, she said: “There are people out there who have climbed more mountains than I have, or run more miles, or paddled more waters. I do what I love doing, taking other people along for the ride, and hoping I can get just one other person to see what I see when the wind blows the rain and mist away, and the sun dribbles out across the hills, lighting up the contours and leaves…”

The great outdoors has fantastic potential to do some good, not only for your own health, but to help people all-over-the-world.

Haroon Mota is one of those doing phenomenal work; heading up the challenge events programme at PennyAppeal.org, not only organising events – but also encouraging others to get involved, and get outdoors.

“I climb Mountains & run marathons and love any excuse to get outdoors! I head the challenge events programme at PennyAppeal.org organising various events and encouraging others to get outdoors & active for good causes, having raised hundreds of thousands of pounds!”

It’s one thing to inspire people to take to the hills, however, to safely enjoy any adventure, any budding outdoor hero needs to learn more about the outdoors.

Which is why we’re proud to support a number of people who are out there educating the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.

One of these is Helen Pollard. Helen manages to squeeze in her own adventures in between her work and volunteering to coach and run Wensleydale Bike Club. She spends her time helping to get kids and families out and having adventures, and in the little free time she has left, she’s on her bike and up in the mountains herself.

In contrast, Sarah and Matt, two photographers with an eye for adventure, as well as the perfect shot, have combined their love for the outdoors with their day to day work lives. As freelance photographers for Checkered Photography, they capture their travels around the world from land, sea or air, creating a stunning record of their lives along the way.

“We love the outdoors because we get to photograph in some of the most beautiful places together. It can be from the water, land or the air we always feel excited to go on an adventure.”

New Outdoor Hero Ju Lewis
New Outdoor Ju Lewis surveys the view

However, it’s the last of our new heroes who puts it best. Ju Lewis – of the excellent blog ‘Ju in Devon’ – enjoys her time outdoors by following her passions, and by volunteering with local organisations to help look after our hills, rivers, woods and seas.

“Everything is better outdoors. I love sharing outdoor time with family, swim friends and DofE teams, learning from each other and enthusing those with less experience.

“It’s all about the outdoors.”

We’re incredibly excited to follow these heroes throughout 2019 and beyond, sharing with you their stories and adventures as we look to inspire and educate more people to take to the hills, woods and waters, whether here at home or around the world.

 

We hope that all of our fans will join us in welcoming Coral, Steph, Haroon, Helen, Sarah, Matt and Ju to the Outdoor Hero team, and support them in all of their adventures this year.