Singapore member secures funding from Kaspersky Lab for the entire team!

Months before reaching the ice of Antarctica, the Commonwealth Women’s team already faced an enormous challenge.  If the team could not secure adequate funding then their ambition of reaching the South Pole would remain a dream.  Hundreds of hours of training and planning were at risk if the eight team members failed to raise the money and support they needed.

Now with the help of Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content management systems, the eight women from Commonwealth countries have the money and the support to ensure that their amazing quest goes ahead.

At the official launch of what will be known as the Kaspersky Lab Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition, eight of the team members came together to celebrate the realisation of their dream which will take them to the bottom of the world by January 2010.

Team leader Felicity Aston said the support of Kaspersky Lab could not have come at a better time.

“The team has been selected for months, but at the back of our minds was the fear that without funding, the expedition may be delayed or even cancelled.  Thanks to Kaspersky Lab our team is going to the South Pole.  We can now focus on our training, with the peace of mind that our essential funding is secure.  And we are confident we will make the citizens of each of our eight nations proud of us,” Ms Aston said.

The approach to Kaspersky Lab was made by Singaporean team member Sophia Pang, who knew the company from her role as an IT consultant.

“At first I was hoping Kaspersky Lab would support my ambition to be the first Singaporean women to reach the South Pole.  When Kaspersky Lab agreed to sponsor the entire team, I simply jumped for joy,” Ms Pang said.

Harry Cheung, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab, Asia Pacific said, “Every day Kaspersky Lab’s staff overcome the challenges of cyber crime, computer malware and IT threats in order to keep our customers secure.  That’s why we responded to the aspirations of this expedition.  Ambition and the desire to overcome obstacles are qualities Kaspersky Lab shares with the women in this team.”

The team was selected from more than 800 applicants with members from eight Commonwealth nations: Britain, Brunei, Cyprus, Ghana, India, Jamaica, New Zealand and Singapore.

The expedition will meet and depart from the United Kingdom on 10 November 2009.  The women will then set out from the coast of Antarctica and ski to the South Pole.  They will travel some 900km across the most hostile environment on Earth, enduring temperatures of minus 40 degrees centigrade, with winds that reach speeds of over 80mph, dangerous crevasses under the ice and disorientating blizzards which last for days at a time.

The women will be pulling sledges containing all the food, fuel and equipment they will need for their journey.  Camping in tents on the ice when they sleep, they will survive on lightweight dehydrated rations and melted snow.  Unguided, they will need to rely on each other to navigate themselves safely to the South Pole.

When the team reaches the South Pole by new years day, the team members from Cyprus, Ghana, Brunei Darussalam and Jamaica, will be the first representative of their nation (male or female) to ski to the South Pole, while the team members from India, Singapore and New Zealand will be the first women of their nation to ski to the South Pole.

The teams will be blogging during the expedition. Audio recordings and text blogs will come back from the team. All those interested will be able to follow the expedition in real time at www.commonwealthexpedition.com as well as www.kklub.net using interactive maps, podcasts, and Twitter messages. Also join FB Group – SouthPole Trod – Kim-Marie Spence

Here in Jamaica, Kim Marie Spence has been in active physical training with the renowned Juliet Cuthbert ; weekends with JDF Leon Barnaby in the Blue Mountains and pulling tyres at Jamnesia Beach Club.   Corporate support has flowed in through Wata/Nature Valley, Jamaica National, Crazy Jim (climate acclimatization), Grace Foods, Digicel and Zanders Harrison + Associates (Public Relations and Co-Management).

You can contribute by depositing funds in the Antarctica Fund account no.  10870166 at Jamaica National Building Society – www.jnbs.com.

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