You might have heard us buzzing about hula hoops, mountains and world records for the past couple of days, and it’s all for a good reason. We are aiming to raise $10,000, by climbing Chachani (6057m) and hula hooping at the top. Please support us by donating here!
Campaign leader (and comms intern), Elise spoke to four of the committed volunteers who are taking on the challenge to find out more about why they decided to join this ambitious fundraising challenge.
Charlotte, 18 going on 19, from the US is our very committed hula hooping coach. We are yet to hear Charlotte say anything negative, so it’s no surprise she was excited about the challenge. “I wanted to partake in this expedition the second I heard about it. I love to climb mountains, and experience new sights, and I have never climbed a mountain as high as Chachani before. The project is ambitious, climbing a 6057m high mountain and hula hoop at the top, but I am excited for its ambitiousness, and the amount of hard work and dedication it is going to take to achieve”.
Charlotte does not take lightly the responsibility of being a hula coach. “I bring to the team a sense of dedication, passion and true pride in my skill and in the art of hula hooping. Having said this, aside from hula hooping briefly as a kid I have really no experience or formal training”.
“We will reach our fundraising goal as well as reaching the top of Chachani through sheer brute and effort, we have to train hard and be tough!”.
Richie (39) is from Melbourne, Australia, and says he wanted to hike Chachani since coming to Arequipa. “The hula hooping sounded a little wacky at first, but its a fundraiser for a great cause, so who could say no?”.
Richie has by far the longest experience with hula hooping on the team, and claims to be a hula hoop veteran. “Being an elder within the team means I can bring some wisdom to the team. My hooping experience goes back to my childhood in the 80s, possibly the Golden era of the hula hoop. We had scented hoops, so once you got tired of hooping you could just sniff them; they came in chocolate, strawberry and banana I think!”.
“The altitude issues will definitely be our biggest challenge, as well as hooping on a potentially very gusty mountaintop. I’m on the lookout for a local wind tunnel for training!”
“Us HOOPsters are confident we can pull off the HulaHOOPing challenge, so it’s really all up to the good people out there to make a contribution to an important cause!”
Local volunteer Carlos (30) loves difficult adventure sports, and did not need much convincing to join HulaHOOPing. “If it’s easy then why bother doing it, right? Also, it’s for a good cause; we want to empower the community of Flora Tristán to improve their quality of life. I believe that knowing why we are doing this will get us through all of our challenges, from now until we are at the top of Chachani hula hooping”.
“The most challenging part will be to get everyone to the top, and I also think we need to work hard to reach our fundraising goal. However nothing that you can set your mind to is impossible, it will overcome any physical effort.”
Mentally ready for the challenge, Carlos still needs to up his hula hooping skills. “I definitely need to practice. I don’t have any experience apart from the few times I tried hula hooping as a kid”.
HOOP’s Director of Communications and Development, Tom (28) from the UK was inspired by HOOP’s previous hula hooping expedition to Chachani in 2013 when initiating the project. “I never imagined I could become a world record holder and thought this would be a really fun thing to do”.
“Raising $10,000 for HOOP is the real challenge, I hope we make it! I’m creative and have a lot of experience in marketing, so I hope I can use that to rally the team into raising the money. It will take a big team effort to succeed!”
“When it comes to hula hooping in itself I’m pretty confident with my basic skills and I’m going to try to learn a few extra tricks”.
Although the challengers have different experiences and skills when it comes to mountaineering and hula hooping, they are all set on becoming world record holders, and most of all; raising $10,000 for HOOP.
Words and images by Elise Fjordbakk