A 28-year-old woman who grew up in Keswick and fell in love with the area is taking on a 1500-kilometre bike packing challenge across seven countries before returning to the UK to run in her first London Marathon – all in aid of the Lake District Calvert Trust!
Zael Ligertwood, who was born in Hong Kong, moved to the UK aged 10. She grew up in Keswick and volunteered at Calvert Stables during her teenage years.
While her education took her to London in 2012, Zael has retained close ties to Keswick and regularly returns to visit her family. Through her work as a teacher in London, Zael appreciates the importance of outdoor adventure and is inspired by the challenging, life-changing adventures the Lake District Calvert Trust provides for people with disabilities.
Zael’s 20-day bike-packing adventure will start in Serres, Greece and finish in Zadar, Croatia. Along the way she will also take in Albania, North Macedonia, Kosova, Montenegro and Bosnia. The overall elevation of the trip will be the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest – twice!
On her return to the UK, Zael will then line up in the London Marathon on 23 April 2023 – her first ever full marathon.
“It’s going to be a massive challenge,” said Zael. “But compared to the challenges disabled children face every day it’s nothing at all.
“Unfortunately, adventuring in the outdoors has become a privilege, not a right, and many do not feel welcome or cannot access nature’s mental and physical benefits.
“Research shows that three-quarters of UK children spend more time indoors than prisoners, and children living in deprived areas are nine times less likely to access green spaces than children in affluent areas. We need to open up these beautiful places and enlivening activities to all – and that’s exactly what the Lake District Calvert Trust does.”
Said Julia Metcalf, Community Fundraiser at the Lake District Calvert Trust:
“We are so grateful to Zael – and to all our fundraisers. At a time when the cost-of-living crisis is impacting disproportionately on disabled people the opportunities we provide simply wouldn’t be possible without their support.”
To support Zael please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/zael-ligertwood
The Lake District Calvert Trust recently launched the UK’s most comprehensive programme of outdoor activities for people with disabilities. Its 2023 programme includes abseiling, bushcraft, canoeing, climbing, cycling, high ropes, horse and carriage riding, orienteering, sailing, swimming and zip wire. The centre is also running bespoke adventure weekends to coincide with key events in the disability calendar including World Cerebral Palsy Day, World Autism Awareness Day and World Down Syndrome Day.