A Lincoln teacher has proudly reflected on the Guinness World Record he helped his school achieve during a trip to Nepal as part of a Lincolnshire records series for The Lincolnite.
Operation Olympus saw 17 boys and girls aged between 14 and 17 travel with two members of staff around two years ago.
The group, lead by Head of Physical Education Tom Eves, trekked through monsoon rains, arid deserts and snow-capped mountains to experience a huge challenge at Thorong La Pass in Nepal. The trip was organised by Tom and Adventure Lifesigns, alongside Hockey for Heroes.
It culminated in an ascent to 5,019m to play hockey to set a new world record, having already trekked 32 miles over a period of 40 hours.
On July 16, 2019, the pupils and staff achieved the world record for the ‘highest altitude game of street hockey’.
Andrew Halliday who is Team Manager for England and Great Britain Hockey, along with Hurricane Sports Foundation and Hockey for Heroes, were also part of the record attempt.
Reflecting on the record from nearly two years ago, Tom told The Lincolnite that the cherry on the top for the trip was setting the world record, saying that walking 5,019m took a “superhuman effort”.
The pitch was marked out with flour so that there were no lasting environmental effects on the rock surface.
The pupils and the two members of staff played for over an hour against the Hockey for Heroes team, with the rules of no running and the maximum of three minutes on the pitch before players were substituted.
Hockey for Heroes won the game 4-2, and Tom looked back fondly on the record saying: “To be involved in the Nepal trip from acting on the initial idea, supporting pupils through every step of the two year planning and then to execute the trip so successfully has been a dream come true.
“To play hockey, a sport that I love, with the back drop of the Annapurna mountains and with pupils who I have seen grow as people and achieve something incredible has left me with such joy.
“The only way to repeat this is to go one better and another world record expedition just maybe in the planning.”
The school wanted to set a legacy for hockey within the mountains on the Annapurna Range in the Mustang region in Nepal.
This was achieved as the pupils coached and played hockey, as well as providing equipment to the local communities in Muktintha, Jomson and Pokhara. At Muktintha and Jomsom, pupils and Hockey for Heroes, coached youngsters in the basic hockey skills and tricks.
Tom also previously organised and led the school on trips to Tanzania and India, with all the expeditions leaving a lasting impact on the communities the school visited, the staff and the pupils.
More recently, Lincoln Minster School took part in a virtual sports competition against The Voice School of Tanzania during the third coronavirus lockdown. The school also continues to interact with and support projects in Nepal, Tanzania and India despite being thousands of miles away.
Lincoln Minster School’s record is part seven in The Lincolnite’s series looking at both Guinness World Record holders in Greater Lincolnshire and records set in the county.