Students to trek Moroccan peak

Dr Kishore
Dr Kishore

A STUDENT from Morpeth is among a group of youngsters preparing to conquer the highest peak in North Africa.

Jamie Pattison, 19, will scale Mount Jebel Toubkal in the Toubkal National Park as part of a ten-day expedition to the Atlas Mountains in south-western Morocco.

Jamie will be joined by 20-year-old Kerry Melville from Wallsend, Emily Smart, 19, from Rowlands Gill, Rachel Thompson, 26, from Chester-le-Street, and Gerry O’Donnell, 29, from Gateshead, who will all travel to Marrakesh in March to begin their trek to the 4,167m summit.

The students are studying toward foundation degrees in health and exercise science, applied sports management and development and applied sports coaching science at the college’s Lifestyle Academy.

They are organising events and raffles to raise £950 each in sponsorship to cover the cost of the trip.

College staff and a specialist instructor will oversee the journey, but the students will take control over day-to-day leadership and decision making on the expedition. They will negotiate transportation, manage food and drink supplies, undertake route planning and navigation, and interact with the local community.

Jamie said: “It’s going to be a real challenge and I can’t wait to go. I’m really looking forward to experiencing a different culture and meeting new people.”

Dr Greg Smith, director of the college’s lifestyle academy, said, “Many students from the Lifestyle Academy go on to seek employment in education, sports training or leadership roles within local authorities.

“Activities that challenge the participant’s abilities across a range of skills, particularly those of leadership and management, set them apart from applicants who have not had the same experience.”