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On 22nd April, it’s World Earth Day. Millions of people across the globe get together and take action in protecting our planet. This week’s guest appears to celebrate Earth Day every day through the numerous activities and communities that she engages with.   Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is Founder and CEO of an award winning NGO called Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) that set up one of the first One Health field programs in the world to protect endangered gorillas and other wildlife.  she established Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA)’s first veterinary department In 2015, she founded Gorilla Conservation Coffee to support farmers living around habitats where gorillas are found. She is on the leadership council of Women for the Environment in Africa  and Vice President of the African Primatological Society   After graduating from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London, in 1996, she established Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA)’s first veterinary department. In 2000, she did a Zoological Medicine Residency and Master in Specialized Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina Zoological Park and North Carolina State University, where masters research on disease issues at the human/wildlife/livestock interface led her to found CTPH in 2003. In 2015, she founded Gorilla Conservation Coffee to support farmers living around habitats where gorillas are found. The most recent award for CTPH is the 2020 Saint Andrews Prize for the Environment.   She is on the leadership council of Women for the Environment in Africa and Vice President of the African Primatological Society and has sat on a number of Boards including Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Wildlife Clubs of Uganda, Bwindi and Mgahinga Conservation Trust, Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board  and The Gorilla Organization.
Life hasn’t been easy for Andy Stone. As someone who struggled with addictions, he knew that a big part of his future success of living without drugs or alcohol, he needed to distract himself with something that would challenge him and also keep him on a path to good health. And so the ‘crazy’ idea of completing 70 Ironman 70.3 in 70 days was born.To put it in context, an Ironman comprises 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile cycle ending with a 13.1 mile run. Over 70 days and starting on Monday 4th April, Andy will: 84 miles of swimming (equivalent to 4x the English Channel) 3,920 miles of cycling (equivalent to cycling from Land’s End to John O’Graots 4.4 times!)  917 miles of running (equivalent to running from London to Edinburgh 2.3 times!) This huge physical and mental endurance challenge that will see him swim, ride and run 5000miles in 70 days, the distance from London to China! Is Andy insane? Yes… but in a healthy way. He’s using this epic world record attempt to build a supportive team around him and also build back his own inner support systems. Having previously batted with mental health as well as his alcohol addictions, this challenge means more to him than the potential of a world record. As a PADI scuba diving instructor, Andy has a huge love of the ocean but has seen first-hand the impact that humans and over fishing is having on our marine life. That’s why through this challenge he’s raising money for ocean conservation charities the Blue Marine Foundation and the Shark Trust. This isn’t the first challenge Andy’s taken on. Earlier this year Andy completed 17 consecutive sprint triathlons in 17 days, raising £1,300 for the Stroke Association in the process.
Rebecca Coles is an expedition and adventure travel specialist who has have led expeditions, travelled and climbed on all 7 continents and in over 70 countries, giving her a unique breadth of experience and knowledge   After graduating with a Geography degree and PhD in glaciers, she leant into her passion to help people plan their own expeditions as well as travel adventurously and independently and became a full-time expedition leader, being a qualified International Mountain Leader and Mountaineering Instructor (MIC).   She’s led over 40 expeditions in places such as Chile, Madagascar, Nepal, Borneo, Zambia, Botswana, India, Tanzania and the Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan, as well as a personal trip where she returned from Katmandu overland, taking 6 months and only using publicly-available transport.   Her ethos is to travel with minimal impact, while keeping expectations realistic. We discussed the impact humans are having on the world, and that even a global lockdown managed to reduce carbon emissions by 7-20%. Massive change is required, yet this doesn’t have to leave us feeling overwhelmed. Becky shares how we can still go out exploring, and just make sure we do our best with the resources available to us.
For seven years, Melissa Wilson had been training in rowing with one goal in mind: Compete at the Olympics. And, she got oh so close, qualifying for Tokyo in 2019. But then the Olympics were postponed - something that has never happened before (FYI The Olympics have been canceled three times before due to war, but never postponed).   During the global pandemic, Melissa got injured and this forced her to pull out. Even though she was unable to participate, Melissa pivoted her attention from competing as an athlete to how else she could use sport as a force for good. As part of the group Champions for Earth, she brought 320 GB Olympians and Paralympians together as signatories in a letter to the Prime Minister, encouraging a green recovery to the pandemic.   Athletes have significant media exposure and we look up to them as role models. Melissa sees the importance of educating and supporting athletes to be a voice for the changes needed to mitigate climate change and she now delivers OLY Earth+, a project developed to build a positive environmental legacy for Team GB.
Three years’ ago, Preet had never hiked on ice let alone completed one of the most extreme expeditions possible. Yet, as she constantly reminds us, “you have to start somewhere.”   Preet wasn’t born to a family of explorers or a community that thrived in pushing through stereotypes. She joined the army reserves at age 19 and avoided sharing this news with her family, preferring to delay hearing the ‘naysayers’ until she was already enrolled.   When she first googled “polar explorers”, she was met with photos of men with beards. Noone looked like her - a woman of colour. She decided to commit to changing the status quo and inspire other people who don’t fit the ‘norm’ to keep striving for their dreams.   This interview took place a few months before she left for the Antarctic, where she would hike solo and unaided to the South Pole (so she needs to drag all her supplies, from a tent to food, with her).   The target was 45-50 days (she packed enough food for 55, just in case of bad weather), and she completed it in 40 days!   She is now the first woman of colour to complete a solo expedition in Antarctica!   Yet, this is only Phase One. Preet will return next year and attempt a solo & unassisted expedition across the whole of Antarctica: Never before completed by a woman.   “Nothing is impossible, I’ve always had this idea that I can achieve something great, something that allows me to be a role model. I want my 9 year old niece to grow up without boundaries, knowing the possibilities of what you can achieve in life are endless."
It’s been a while since I last updated you on what I’m doing. I’ve been having too much fun interviewing others and hearing about their inspirational and motivational stories. And, it’s inspired me to share what I’ve got coming up!   A few years’ ago, you might recall that I announced an epic adventure that I was embarking on: cycling 3,000 miles across the States, swimming the English Channel and attempting to summit Everest; all within 10 months.   Then lockdown happened.   During the global pandemic, I took time to reflect on what was important to me. Yes, I wanted an adventure that would push me physically, but I also realised that this challenge was stepping over some of my personal values - sustainability, compassion, community.   Flying 10 people to the states seemed decadent and the whole adventure was about me pushing myself.   I’m tired of doing things alone. I don’t want to compete against others, like I did in triathlon, nor compete against myself as in the world records. Could I create a challenge that pushed me physically, and yet gave space for pause and others to join in too?   Challenge 3000 was born. It involves 3,000 miles of cycling around the coast of the UK (England, Scotland & Wales) over a few months. I’ve time to enjoy the scenery …and I would also miss my partner. So, I invited him to join me!   We both will be cycling on bamboo bikes and as we’re cycling to raise awareness of what we need to do to stop climate change, we’re also pledging to plant 3,000 trees!   We’d love your support. Through donations (links below), sponsorship, partnership and participation. Please get in touch and let’s make Challenge 3000 the ripple of positive change we need.
E75: Championship boxing & Paving the Way for inclusive sport with Stacey Copeland   What is a typical girls’ sport? Football? Boxing? For Stacey Copeland, she’s paving the way in more ways than one to ensure all sports are inclusive for everyone. Stacey’s father and grandfather were both boxers, so it seemed natural for her to take up the sport. In 2018, she made history when she became the first-ever British woman to win the Commonwealth title. We chatted about how she felt winning, and also the sad realisation that there was no belt for the female boxers, yet there was for her male counterparts. Instead of complaining, she decided to take proactive steps to ensure no other female boxer felt how she did and ensured a belt was available for other women Commonwealth athletes. In addition to being a professional boxer, Stacey’s also represented England in football.   Represented England in football and boxing. Founder of Pave The Way. Presenter for BBC Radio Manchester.  In 2018 she made history when she became the first-ever British woman to win the Commonwealth title.  'The Dead Good Show' and 'The Sunday Sports Show' on BBC Radio  
A founding trustee of the Women’s Sport Trust, and co-founder of the Women’s Sport Collective, in 2018 Sue received an MBE for her services to women’s sport. Sue is the author of a new book, ‘Game On: The Unstoppable Rise of Women’s Sport’, and hosts The Game Changers, an award-winning podcast that celebrates trailblazing women in sport. Having run a sports PR agency for 26 years, Sue is now CEO of Fearless Women, a company driving positive change for women’s sport. She sits on the RFU’s Diversity and Inclusivity Advisory Group and is a Non-Executive Director at Leisure Focus, a charity running leisure facilities in Berkshire.  Coming late to the sport of triathlon, Sue represented Great Britain as an Age Group triathlete, competing at World and European Championships in her forties. All things women's sport and equality including the history, commercial funding, sponsorship, role models, participation, governance etc / My new book GAME ON / The Game Changers podcast   Timestamp for talk: 1:34 - Sue talked about her family introduction to the sport 4:20 - Sue talks about how she slowly realized the disparity between male and female athlete treatment 6:00 - Sue talks about how society shapes attitudes towards male and female sports 8:47 - Sue talks about how we can change the mindset around women’s sport 10:31 - Sue talks about role models but no simple answer in making women’s sport more high profile 13:06 - Sue talks about her work and how women are taking part in more sport 14:26 - Sue talks about how to include more women in sport-related jobs  
E73: Breaking barriers and being the first female to win RAAM with Leah Goldstein
E72: Activism & slavery, what we can do about it with Kim Prado
E71: Blind & Black. What is Equality with Darren Harris
E70: The Long Win, Lessons through the Olympics, Life & Business with Cath Bishop
E69: Turning away from being a professional ballerina and discovering her true identity with Jemima Cooper
E68: Busting running myths and avoiding injury with Brodie Sharpe
E67: Exploration of the Arctic, the role of business for our future and The Solo100 Legacy with Mark Wood
E66: Building a business, love and bicycles with Kieren Windsor
E65 Saving the Storks with an Army of Volunteers with Purnima Barman
E64 Olympic mindset, balance and releasing our past emotions with Reina-Flor Okori
E63: How code can help save an ocra with Gracie Ermi
E62: What can we learn from the personalities of woodlice with Eleanor Drinkwater
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