Disabled athletes aim for Kilimanjaro

JOHANNESBURG - A team of disabled athletes have their sights set firmly on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro next January.

They showcased their physical prowess at a fundraising fitness competition against able-bodied competitors.

Box-jump burpees, weight lifts and plate pushes might be gruelling for any athlete.

But for this team of disabled competitors, pushing their bodies to the limits is all part of a bigger plan.

The plan is to summit Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for new prosthetic limbs for child amputees.

The team of eight from non-profit organisation Guts 2 Glory say they plan to conquer Kili their way: With prosthetic limbs, and even in a wheelchair!

“The most important thing is that there is a crew of strong guys," said wheelchair athlete Philemon Masela.

"Where I’m not able to go through, obviously they are going to help me, they’re going to carry me. And it’s a challenge unto itself.”

The team hope to shatter the stereotype that only able-bodied people can achieve physical feats, like climbing Africa’s highest peak.

“I think the biggest misconception is that people assume that when you are disabled, you’re also mentally disabled," said Guts 2 Glory's Carl Greyling.

"People also think that you aren’t capable of doing a normal job and of communication.”

The group hopes to raise enough funds to provide 1,000 children with prosthetic limbs.

- eNCA

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