Everyday Mountains – judging the Spinal Injury Associations Everyday Mountains Competition
I recently was honoured to be asked to judge the Spinal Injuries Association’s “Everyday Mountains”, competition inspired by Martin Hibbert’s Kilimanjaro climb.
Over two hundred people entered for a chance to win a number of prizes (including the very chair that Martin completed his feat in – as sponsored by Bolt Burdon Kemp)…. Their entries focused on the very real metaphorical mountains spinal cord injured people face every day as a result of their injuries.
The judging took place on Tuesday 30 May 2023 and we were treated to lunch at the SIA’s rather beautiful offices in Milton Keynes ahead of being split into groups to judge the various entries.
My group included the SIA’s vice president Gerard McDermott KC and Todd Hooker from the Williams F1 team (who had kindly donated a bespoke experience day).
I knew it was going to be difficult deciding who should win each of the prizes but I wasn’t prepared for quite how difficult it was going to be. If you are minded to enter a competition for specialist physio sessions listing reasons why you need them, then you are incredibly likely to be deserving.
But… decide we did… and whilst I have been left feeling good about people enjoying their prizes… I can’t help but also feel disheartened that so many of the prizes are out of the reach of people who would benefit so greatly. The spinal cord injury community is hugely underserved by the state provision of therapies and equipment.
…one single moan aside…
All in all it was a good afternoon, catching up with old faces and meeting some new ones. I hope I get invited back if they do it all again next year (if you are reading this and have a prize you would like to donate – get in touch!).