The geographical titan that is Mount Kilimanjaro will soon be the backdrop for 17 members of the Kilimanjaro Challenge 9 expedition. This is the ninth edition of Dun George Grima‘s philanthropic collaboration with Keith Marshall. For the past 9 years, Marshall has been training volunteers to physically, emotionally and mentally prepare themselves for the mountainous ascent and back.
Every step made on Kilimanjaro’s terrain is all for a worthy cause. Every year, fundraising activities leading up to the climb have accumulated donations for Dun George’s projects in Africa. All of this comes together with the courage of those who take up the challenge, and there aren’t enough hats in the world to be taken off to them. We’ve caught up with Matthew Camilleri to see how it’s all going.
Who is Matthew Camilleri?
I’m 23 years old and work as a physiotherapist, both in the public and private sector. When I’m not at work, I’m very much involved in rugby. I captain my local rugby club and play for the national team. The rest of my time is spent asleep.
What made you decide to take up the Kilimanjaro Challenge?
My close friend Matthew Spiteri turned up at rugby training and said he was climbing a mountain.
I couldn’t resist.
You’ve been training for the challenge since February. Could you tell us more about the process?
I personally find that the biggest issue is the incredible amount of time and commitment required. Time is needed for training, fund raising and group events. It helps you grow as an individual and as a team, but I must admit that it’s sparked an argument or two.
Training has been centred around 4 to 5-hour treks and hill climbs. It’s tough. It’s tiring… but all for a great cause.
What dynamics as an individual do you bring to the group?
I try my best to keep everyone motivated when we’re going through a long training session. If my cheesy lines work or not, I have no idea.
If you had to take one prohibited item with you up Kili, what would it be?
A bottle of single malt for New Year’s Eve on the mountain.
What theme song would you like to have played as you trek up Kili?
Get to know other volunteers, meet Claire Falzon.