Andrew’s Climb Story: “If you set your mind to it and train hard, you can do anything”
On Thursday 1 December 21 year old Andrew achieved his dream of climbing to the top of the Sydney harbour Bridge, two days ahead of International Day of People with Disability.
Andrew set his sights on the summit on his 21st birthday more than 6 months ago. His journey kicked off from his first visit to BridgeClimb in May 2016, when he was encouraged to develop an action plan to help him succeed in the 1,002 step journey.
Andrew worked closely with his trainers (including Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s Teigan Butchers) and BridgeClimb over more than 6 months to develop a bespoke mental and physical training program, and took part in on-site assessments to review his progress and tailor the program.
With the additional motivation of International Day of People with Disability, Saturday 3rd December 2016, Andrew was ready to demonstrate that his disability didn’t stop him achieving his goal.
Climbing with his brother Luke, mum Janet, Dad Graeme, Exercise Physiologist Teigan Butchers and BridgeClimb Customer Relations Manager, Dave Franke, who have been by his side throughout his journey, they were rewarded with Andrew’s sense of achievement and 360 degree views of Sydney from 134 metres above the Sydney harbour.
When asked what he would say to others who want to Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but face their own personal challenges, Andrew said “If you set your mind to it and train hard, you can do anything”.
Teigan Butchers said, “Watching Andrew work so hard to obtain his dream and climb to the top of the Bridge has been incredible. Every step has been a challenge for Andrew, but we both agreed he could do it and he did!”
The Climb to the top of the Bridge and back down is considered the equivalent excursion to an 18 hole round of golf, and has been completed by more than 3.5 million people aged 8 to 100.
BridgeClimb Climb Leader Brett said from the summit, “It was a joy to host Andrew on this special Climb. All our Climbers feel pride as they conquer the Sydney harbour Bridge, but Andrew’s unique journey and sense of achievement to get to where we stand now is evident in the smile on his face.
Andrew and his family were also joined by Channel 7 News Reporter Bryan Seymour who tracked Andrew’s progress on the day. Watch the Channel 7 News report here.