Mourne Mountain Adventure a Playground for Northern Ireland Teens
FOLLOWING the success in 2012 of the Mourne Mountain Adventure plans are well underway to deliver a twin format of Adventure and Expedition levels on 27 and 28 April 2013, currently with 76 teams of six youths between13 years – 18 years.
Both the Expedition and Adventure levels will have three phases each including a hike in the Mourne Mountains, Dundrum Bay rib crossing and the Ballykinler Training Centre challenge in addition to overnight camping in Kilbroney Forest Park and Tollymore Forest Park respectively.
Teams from across Northern Ireland in addition to two Dublin based teams participated last year and it is anticipated that there will be an increased interest in what was an exceptional opportunity for our youth to enjoy team building, physical exercise and mental challenges whilst enjoying the great outdoors in the beautiful Mourne Destination.
The Adventure is being organised by seven main sponsors: Newry and Mourne District Council, Down District Council, The National Trust, NIFRS, PSNI, MOD and NI Water and many other multi-agency support services who will co-ordinate the training and delivery of this exciting outdoor event.
This April will see more almost 500 teenagers from across Northern Ireland, including teams from Newtownhamilton High School, RBAI, Downpatrick Scouts, Glenavy Youth project to name a few will be taking part in the challenge that will see them trek through the Mournes before travelling via Rigid Inflatable Boats from Dundrum Bay to Ballykinler beach. Along the way they will be pushed to complete a series of challenges that will test decision-making, stamina and teamwork.
The event is supported by a number of stakeholders including volunteer organisations, local authorities, uniformed and emergency services, and funding sourced from OFMDFM this year alongside the kind permission of the Mourne Mountain Trustees. It will involve schools and youth organisations from across the community.
The patron of the event is Noel Hanna, a Dromora man who has climbed the highest peaks of each of the world’s continents (including Mount Everest on numerous occasions) and holds the world record for descent from each peak to sea level. Speaking at the Mourne Mountain Adventure recent training day at Castle Ward he said: “I’m very happy to support this event and encourage young people to get up off the sofa and enjoy a bit of adventurous training.
“You can’t underestimate the sense of accomplishment that comes with pushing yourself beyond your normal limits and hopefully the challenge will inspire some of the participants on to greater heights.
“There has been a great response from various organisations across the province, and we now reaching the 500th young person signed up to take part in the challenge on 27 and 28 April,” he said.
The first phase of the Adventure and Expedition levels will take place from Tollymore Forest Park and Kilbroney Forest Park respectively and thereafter the teams will have to navigate their way through a series of unmanned checkpoints in the forest parks and complete a command task that will test ingenuity and team working skills. At this point the Adventure teams make their way to Donard Park and onto Phase two. Meanwhile the Expedition teams continue to Silent Valley for an overnight camp and onward to Donard Park and Phase two.
All teams will arrive at Dundrum Bay where phase two of the Adventure/Expedition will see them briefed by HM Coastguard and Mourne Underwater Search Team (MUST). They will then set off in Rigid Inflatable Boats across the bay to Ballykinler Beach and on to the third phase. Once on the training area they will complete a series of challenges before making their way to Ballykinler Training Centre for a change of clothes, a hot shower, a hot meal and an awards presentation for all participants.
Good luck to all those taking part and we look forward to seeing you all at the finish line.