Christian Malford teenager completes summer of challenges

This Is Wiltshire: Emily Weston and her dad Paul Emily Weston and her dad Paul

Teenager Emily Weston has teamed up with her dad to complete a summer of challenges to benefit charity Free The Children.

The 17-year-old student at Chippenham’s Sheldon School, and dad Paul, a pilot for Virgin, set off for India on on September 18 to complete their final test – a 265km cycle over four days through Rajasthan in India, from Jodhpur to Udaipur.

The two took on the challenges to raise money for Virgin Atlantic’s Staff Campaign for 2012, which encourages staff members to com- plete tough tasks for charity.

Emily, from Christian Malford, said: “It all started off at the beginning of the summer – we did the Three Peaks Challenge to begin with.

“It was some of the worst weather of the year. I couldn’t believe how awful it was. We actually technically only did two-and-a-half peaks because Scafell Pike was just too dangerous. We just couldn’t make it safely to the top. We got there when it was chucking it down in the middle of the night – a little stream had become a massive gushing river because it was so miserable.”

Next on Emily’s list was Mount Fuji in Japan, a peak she has dreamed of climbing for years.

Travel wasn’t a problem for the adventurous student either, as taking the controls of the plane was her dad.

“We were only in Japan for three days,” she said.

“We climbed about three-quarters of the way up, and then stopped for a few hours’ sleep, and then reached the summit for dawn. It was amazing – a bit different from climbing the three peaks. It was a dream come true to climb Mt Fuji – I’ve been asking dad if we could do it for years.”

Although the physical challenges might deter some, Emily is making a name for herself as a competitive swimmer. She has recently been selected to swim for Wiltshire at the National Inter County Competition in Sheffield at the national pool in October once again.

But she said she’d been nervous about undertaking her biggest challenge in India.

“I do a lot of swimming, but I’m not much of a cyclist,” she said.

“It was really hard. We cycled 90k one day, and it was like torture because it was so hot. The roads were bumpy and it was very tough for us, but of the 47 who did it, 40 finished without having to stop and get on the support van, including me. It was a real adventure, and so far we’ve raised £1,030.”

To donate to Free The Children, visit Virgin Money Giving, and type ‘Emily Weston’ into the search bar.

The web page will remain open for three more months.

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