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Justin, Asha and ETC Board Chairman Rod McKelvey

Fourteen year old Taree local Asha Clarke is feeling on top of the world after taking on the tallest and most famous mountain in the world – Mt Everest.

A 10 day trek resulted in young Asha reaching Everest Base Camp (17,500 feet) where she finished off with her trademark handstand.

A gymnast and volunteer at Taree PCYC, Asha was given the opportunity to join the trek which was a fundraising initiative for PCYC Police Programs.

“Asha’s been involved with the Club here for many years now with different programs and coaches some of the younger kids. Because of the work she’s been doing and her commitment to helping other young people, she was invited to take part in the challenge,” said Justin Hayes, Club Manager PCYC Taree.

“The organiser of the trek sponsored Asha for the land costs at Nepal, but we needed to raise the funds to cover the flights, equipment needed, vaccinations, prescription, antibiotics and the right trekking gear. It was great to get some funding from ETC to help with the major cost – which was the flights.”

Asha thanked ETC and PCYC for the opportunity, which she said has made her a stronger person.

“I thought I couldn’t do it, that I wasn’t going to make it, but then I actually made it. Justin was encouraging me heaps along the way and I was also trying to encourage myself. It was challenging and I felt like I had accomplished something really big. When we hit Base Camp, I was so happy,” Asha said.

According to Mr Hayes the trek was a tough gig for Asha, not only the physical challenge, but a mental challenge – travelling in a foreign and less developed country. 

“She did well considering her young age and it will certainly give her skills for life. It will give her the confidence to know that when the going gets tough, that she can step up and meet challenges. There was a couple of moments earlier on when I don’t think she was very confident. I think she was starting to have second thoughts, but she managed to push through that and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Then on the way down she was skipping with confidence and doing handstands at Base Camp,” Mr Hayes said.

“Life’s all about challenges, things not going your way – having that resilience to actually step up and go ‘well its tough, but I need to get through this’ that is a core value that all people need to get through life.”

Find out more about PCYC Taree here www.pcycnsw.org.au/taree 



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