Scaling new heights
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
A NEWRY schoolgirl is preparing to scale new heights for Children In Need.
Despite being just 7-years old, Chloe Friary is to pull on her hiking boots and make her way up Slieve Donard, the highest mountain in Ulster, in order to raise money for the children's charity.
It's a challenge that would have most adults heading for the couch in horror, but Chloe is raring to go.
“I'm really excited, I can't wait," she told the Newry Democrat with an enthusiastic smile.
“I love climbing mountains, I like the challenge and looking out across the countryside from the top."
Her enthusiasm for conquering Ireland's natural giants is so great that her mother Jennifer admits it can sometimes be hard to control.
“She always wants to go that little bit further," she said.
“We've been doing shorter walks to get her ready and test how fit she is for a challenge like this and whenever we get to a point we've set for stopping she always wants to go on.
“The challenge is a big thing for her as well. As far as she's concerned, the wetter, windier and foggier it is, the better."
Slieve Donard certainly won't let her down in that department, but Chloe adds that she's not just doing it for the challenge.
“I'm going to be raising money for Children in Need," the St Clare's Convent pupil said.
“They're a really good charity and they help children. They've also taken me and all the boys and girls on loads of trips and fun days, so I want to help them."
Chloe's grandfather, Gerry Coyle also revealed that there may be some more exciting news in store.
“Well, it's not 100 per cent confirmed or anything yet, but the people behind Children In Need heard what she was doing and were so impressed by it that they're talking about filming her climb for the programme," he said.
Chloe takes on her five hour Slieve Donard challenge, with her mother and grandfather in tow, on Saturday, October 19, but she's already looking ahead to her next challenge.
“I really want to climb Ben Nevis next," she said, referring to the Scottish mountain that marks the highest point in Britain and Ireland and, at over 4400 feet, is almost twice the height of Slieve Donard.
Her mother Jennifer interjects that it may take another while before she's ready for that particular challenge, but Chloe is adamant she intends to be an explorer.
It's a calling that you could say is in her blood. Her grandfather Gerry, in addition to climbing mountains such as Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain in the world, has trekked the Himalayas, the Sahara and the Grand Canyon.
Despite these achievements, Chloe clearly
thinks it's time for a new generation to take the lead.
When asked who would reach the top of Slieve Donard first, she was unequivocal in her answer.
“I think I'll get there first, and then Mummy and then Granda," she said.
For information on donating to Chloe's Children In Need climb, email email@example.com.
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