Redsquid’s CEO is Now Taking on Antarctica For YMCA
After his successful hike around the Himalayas earlier this year, Redsquid CEO Sohin Raithatha is taking on a new challenge in aid of the YMCA. Sohin will be trekking across the icy plains of Antarctica next year to raise further funds for the YMCA Watford Orbital Community Centre. As he begins his fundraising campaign, we spoke with him about his upcoming hopes and fears for the trip.
Tell us about your upcoming charity trip to Antarctica; when are you going, what is your goal, what’s the plan?
So it’s on March 3rd and it’s for 10 days, and I’ve got to do the whole thing by myself, as it’s not organised by a charity. To just get to Antarctica, it’s going to take four days of travelling (around 55 hours), including boarding a vessel from Argentina. So that in itself is going to be quite mentally challenging, alongside the fact that I’ll be doing the whole thing by myself.
If the weather permits, I’ll be trekking, hiking, and camping out in sub-zero temperatures and with the wind-chill factor making it even colder. I think that it’ll be totally out of my comfort zone; much more physically and mentally harder than the Himalayas.
The main reason that the Himalayas was such a challenge for me, was because I wasn’t as prepared for it as I should be have been. Whereas this time, I feel like I’ve thought about what I’ll be facing a lot more. The hiking will be much harder this time, so I’m going to focus on getting physically fit for it. Also, because of the nature of the trip; once you start the trek you can’t turn back, as you’ve got a guard escorting the group and polar bears are a serious threat. It’s going to be hard, but I’ll make sure I’m prepared for it.
In terms of a fundraising goal; it’d be nice to raise about 5k. Especially as I’ve already seen how our money is helping the YMCA to help support youth workers.
So first the Himalayas, and now Antarctica; have you got a taste for adventure now?
Well I’ve always wanted to take on Antarctica, because I really, really, hate the cold. So the idea of sleeping out in such low temperatures, is seriously going to test me. Anything after that? I don’t know. I think these have been the only two trips that I’ve really wanted to do. If I do try anything else, it’s got to be a real challenge; something dangerous and exciting. Something that encourages people to donate to our cause.
What do you see as being your biggest challenge out on the ice?
I can imagine it’ll be the camping element of the trip. It was chilly out in the Himalayas at night, but Antarctica after dark will be on a whole other level of cold. I don’t want to even think about how cold it’s going to be.
Also, stamina wise; it’s going to be tough spending around six hours a-day trekking across the ice. So I’m going to have to prepare myself to handle that as well.
This is the next stage in your project to help support One YMCA, what are you hoping you’ll achieve with this trip?
Well, I know that the money we’ve already raised has gone towards helping fund the various evening classes and summer activities that One YMCA organise for young people in the local area. Now, I’d like some money to go towards helping provide new facilities for the Watford Orbital Community Centre; making it an even better place for young people to relax in. However, obviously One YMCA are free to spend the money in whatever way they feel helps the most. As long as we’re helping contribute; both financially and otherwise: that’s all that matters.
What is your fundraising plan? How are you going to reach your goal?
Well, I managed to raise 3k last time; which I was really chuffed about and grateful for! Everyone was really giving; from friends & family, to customers & contacts. But I’ve got more time to raise funds for this trip, so I’m hoping that people are going to be even more generous. It’s great to be able to have already show people where their money is going with our correspondence with One YMCA, so they know that they’re really helping to do some good.
What are you most looking forward to?
Well certainly the adventure; because this is going to be totally different to the Himalayas.
The peace and quiet, and the beautiful scenery. No connectivity, no interruptions, just my own thoughts.
Also, I’m looking forward to taking this challenge on by myself; planning the whole thing, preparing to go solo, and setting my own pace. Just packing my bags and heading off into the unknown: it’s very exciting!
You can donate to Sohin’s JustGiving page now.