A TEAM of intrepid Coventry pupils is celebrating after successfully climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
The group of four teachers and eight pupils from Blue Coat Church of England School scaled the Tanzanian mountain as part of the school’s 300th anniversary celebrations.
Led by school chaplain, father Paul Messam, the climb was the final part of a year’s worth of charitable activity – raising vital funds for the Coventry Myton Hospice’s ‘Rainbow Ripples’ service.
Reminiscing on her experience of the climb, sixth form student Ishaa Aggarwal said: “You will always hear stories about people’s experience of trekking up Kilimanjaro and, 80 per cent of the time, they make it sound like the worst yet most rewarding experience you could endeavour.
“However, I learnt for myself that only one of them is true. While it was definitely the greatest experience I have encountered, it was also one of the funniest and best things I have ever done, and I could not think of a better group of people to have climbed with.”
Ishaa thanked the porters who carried bags, tents and even a toilet up the mountain – saying the expedition would have been ‘unbearable’ without their help.
She added: “A highlight of the trip will definitely have to be on summit night.
“After 10 continuous hours of walking up the mountain, which by this time it had felt more like I was crawling up the mountain, we reached Uhuru peak while witnessing the most beautiful sunrise over Africa I could ever imagine.
“Summit night was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and although it felt pretty great getting to the top of Kilimanjaro, it felt so much better knowing we got to the top together, helping each other along the way.”
But the group from the school in Terry Road, Stoke, also managed to reach the summit at the same time – a feat Father Messam described as ‘unheard of’ for a school group.
He said: “To say we are all on a high would be an understatement.
“Thank you to everyone for their support and prayers.
“This is proof that Blue Coat can continue to reach new heights after 300 years.”
Donations can still be made to the team’s climb in aid of Myton Hospice online at www.justgiving.com/teams/BlueCoatKiliTeam