Seventeen senior school pupils and two teachers were joined by Team GB Hockey Manager Andy Halliday and representatives from Hockey for Heroes on the ‘Operation Olympus’ trip which supported local communities in Nepal as well as raising funds for charity.
The trip, which took place from 9 to 22 July 2019, saw the group trek up the Annapurna Range to climb approximately 5,050m. Once at the pre-arranged location, Cchonger Slopes, the group played a game of Hockey that set a World Record for the highest game of hockey ever played.
After 20 hours of walking and 18 miles of trekking, the group reached their destination for the World Record attempt at an elevation of 2,219m. The pitch was marked out with flour, goals set up and the national anthem sang before the game commenced. Specific rules were put into place to prevent altitude sickness taking effect and with the surface simply being rocks, all players where only allowed to walk and push the ball.
After over 50 minutes of play and all players exhausted, the game finished. Both the Lincoln Minster School and Hockey for Heroes teams were thrilled to have completed a once in a lifetime achievement and to have taken the World Record for the highest game of hockey ever played.
The world record attempt was just one aspect of the trip that also saw the group visit local schools and communities to coach fun, engaging hockey games to children and young adults on dirt playing fields against the backdrop of the Nepalese mountains
Lincoln Minster School teacher and trip leader, Tom Eves, said:
“After over two years of planning, we finally managed to achieve a truly fantastic piece of history. I have never been so inspired by a group of young teenagers who showed so much grit and determination, they all demonstrated resilience and worked against physical exhaustion to play a game of hockey that had only been a dream event a few years ago.
“Each and every one of our pupils has grown and matured beyond their years thanks to the mentoring and assistance from the Hockey for Heroes. Everyone on Operation Olympus is a Hero.”
Vice President of Nepalese Hockey, Himal Khedkha, said:
“It has taken a group from England to introduce hockey to the mountains of Nepal. It is now time for us to follow their example and take hockey out to the mountains.”
Operation Olympus raised around £4000 in total for Help for Heroes and Lewis Little Legs – a fundraiser for a little boy in Essex who suffers from Cerebal Palsy and requires specialist treatment to help him to walk independently.
A huge well done to everyone who was involved in this incredible achievement.