Team of female firefighters to attempt to ski to the South Pole in world first

The team are training to become the world's first emergency services team to ski to the South Pole unaided <i>(Image: Antarctic Fire Angels)</i>
The team are training to become the world's first emergency services team to ski to the South Pole unaided (Image: Antarctic Fire Angels)

A LONDON firefighter who lives in West End is part of a team aiming to become the world's first emergency services team to ski to the South Pole unaided.

Nikki Upton, who is also a qualified personal trainer and spinning instructor, has been pounding the streets close to her home hard in training for the epic charity challenge, which is due to take place in November 2023.

She is one of a five-strong polar expedition team of female firefighters, dubbed the Antarctic Fire Angels, who are aiming to raise money for The Firefighters Charity, challenge gender stereotypes and inspire women and girls.

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The team will journey for 1,130km from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole skiing whilst also pulling 85kg plus supply sleds.

They will be completely unsupported during the approximately 45-day trek, which will see them face temperatures of around minus 50c as well as 60mph winds.

Nikki, who became a firefighter in 2009, told the Daily Echo: "I am a born and raised proud Southampton girl living in West End, which is where I do a large chunk of my training. I get a lot of comments when I'm dragging tyres around Hatch Grange, so I just wanted to highlight our expedition."

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Nikki's teammates include Rebecca Openshaw-Rowe, who has rowed for Great Britain, represented Wales in the Rugby World Cup and Six Nations, and won surf life-saving world championships.

They're joined by mountaineers Georgina Gilbert and Rebecca Hinchley, and Emily Butler, who became a firefighter in 2011 following an arson attack on her family's farm.

Antarctic Fire Angels was born at the Women in the Fire Service Training and Development event in 2019 and includes firefighters from London Fire Brigade, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

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The Firefighters Charity helps members of the UK's fire services community, both serving and retired, and their families to live healthier and happier.

Visit antarcticfireangels.co.uk to find out more and sponsor the team.

 

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