From Snowdon to Kilimanjaro: Charity Climbs for Wonderful Causes
While TV and movie celebrities use their looks and influence, athletes, for their part, make the most of their physical attributes to raise money for various charitable causes and organisations. Aside from the typical marathons, these sportsmen and sportswomen often go to the extreme, not only to test their limits, but also to bring attention to notable causes.
One of these benevolent acts is through mountain climbing. So with that in mind, here are some renowned sports personalities who have – at least tried – to conquer perilous conditions to underline a number of causes.
Martina Navratilova (Tennis)
Martina Navratilova, despite her slightly older age has done many notable acts during her time to raise money for charity. In 2010, the nine-time Wimbledon champion fell 4,000 feet shy of Mount Kilimanjaro’s summit, because of altitude sickness. The tennis icon had to call for help as she was experiencing a brutal combination of mountain sickness and a stomach infection. All her efforts didn’t go down the drain though, as Bleacher Report revealed Navratilova still managed to raise £50,000 for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Ray Lewis (American Football)
Ray Lewis is more than just a 13-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens and a former Super Bowl champion; he is also one of the more recognisable faces in American football. Following his retirement in 2013, Lewis was all set to join charitable groups World Serve International and Pros for Africa in their quest to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to promote awareness for sustainable water issues. However, as reported by The Baltimore Sun, he was not able to take part in the climb due to a fever and a nagging foot injury.
Matt Jones (Football)
Climbing mountains is not just limited to leisure and charitable pursuits; it can also be used to pay tribute to a fallen comrade. Ex-Wales international footballer, Matt Jones, did so to raise money in memory of his former teammate, Gary Speed.
Jones’ former teammate Gary Speed was a talented footballer, who transitioned into the world of management, taking the Welsh national team to new heights and laying the foundations for Chris Coleman’s current success. However, what many people don’t know is Gary Speed was an avid writer, publishing his last article in 2007 on football website Betfair, as well appearing on television as a pundit. Speed was a well-loved figure in the game, and his untimely passing was hard to take for many, including his friend Matt Jones. For his part, in honour of his friend, Jones braved the intense weather conditions of Snowdonia to carry on his late friend’s mission of supporting good causes such as the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and John Hartson Foundation. You can see a picture of Jones completing the climb in this BBC article.
Some of the world’s most well known celebrities have a knack for giving back. Whether it is through fundraising events such as annual telethons, or personal cash contributions during natural disasters, or extreme outdoor adventures, a lot of famous personalities use their power and reach to promote notable causes. It is a mutually beneficial endeavor, to say the least, as these stars get to build their image, while helping those in need.