South Coast Soldiers To Climb Kilimanjaro

A Hampshire soldier is about to take on the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro -joined by TV star Duncan Bannatyne.

35 year old Captain Matt Muller -who's from Chandler's Ford - will be helping a group of amputee soldiers to scale the famous peak as part of 'Exercise Sharpe's Summit'.

It's raising money for two military causes, Dorset charity 'Pilgrim Bandits' and the Rifles own regimental charity 'Care for Casualties' - both help injured troops and their families.

There will be 27 of them doing the climb, including 5 amputee soldiers on crutches. John Sandford-Hart, an amputee ex-serviceman from Mudeford in Christchurch is also climbing Kilimanjaro, and will be taking up a 1948 Olympic torch.

Leading the challenge is civilian and expedition hero Rhys Jones - the youngest man to climb the highest summits on all seven continents. He's also the managing director of RJ7 expeditions, based at Heathlands Business Park in Ringwood.

7 Rifles' Captain Matt Muller, who's leaving today on the challenge, said:

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and we're raising money for some very good causes. I'm excited but also nervous –I mean I've never climbed a mountain before – it's the sort of thing you have on your wish-list to do!"

"If we all make it to the top we could also be setting some new world records for severely injured climbers reaching the summit of a mountain at the same time, which will be officially verified by the Guinness Book of Records."

Talking about the amputee soldiers taking part, he said: 

"They're amazingly motivated to do this - not only for themselves - but to show soldiers out on operations that should something happen, it's not the end of their world. You can still go out and do these amazing challenges."

He added:

"Its very personal to myself – ive lost friends and collageus of mine have been injured –some of them amputees. So to have the opportunity to do this with serving soldiers is fantastic."

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