Mark Allen, who took part in Endeavour Fund through 65 degrees North, visited Eastbury Farm Primary School to share his story and inspire the children who helped his team.
Mark unfortunately lost his lower leg in a parachute accident whilst serving. He became involved with 65 Degrees North who introduced him to the Munda Biddi trail. In 2018, Mark, as part of a team of wounded, injured and sick veterans, completed the Munda Biddi trail, one of the toughest cycles in the world due to its remote nature, long distance and challenging off road conditions in searing Western Australian temperatures. It runs entirely through the bush, except where it touches small townships. This trail provides 1000km of trail riding through an undeveloped natural corridor. Combining Western Australia’s vast areas of unspoiled forest and bushland, gentle terrain and year-round cycling weather. The Eastbury Farm Primary School raised funds to help the team buy helmets for their challenge.
Mark visited the school to show the children what their fundraising has helped to achieve and to inspire them on their own journeys. Whilst at the school, Mark showed a 6 minute photo & music piece that describes the Munda Biddi ride and then took questions from the children. Mark was dressed in his cycling kit and had bought along his spare leg. The children, from the top two classes in the school, were inspired by Mark’s stories, especially when they saw the spare leg and heard about what it had helped Mark to achieve.
One of the mothers said:
“School kids all raving about your talk yesterday. I had to translate for one of the Mums who was hugely confused about what her son had been talking about. Apparently he is an amazing diver who is really nervous about a competition, but has now decided that if Mark can do things, so can he!!”
The Head of the school, Rebecca Workman, has framed the Munda Biddi cycling jersey. After a previous talk held in 2017, the children ran a small fund-raising event that helped fund helmets.
Rebecca Workman said:
“The children were fascinated by his spare leg which they were able to handle and I suspect this was a new experience for them all. I loved the message that you really can do anything if you put your mind to it.
It’s so nice to be able to follow through on something like this. To be able to see the impact their fundraising had is just brilliant.
The children and staff were very inspired once again and in addition to more fundraising, the children have been left with inspiration that will last them a life time. This all makes fundraising so much more meaningful for the pupils.”
The visit helped show that this sort of disability is not abnormal, and that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.