Physiotherapist Rachel Andrews today (27 January) became one of only two women to reach the South Pole in the first race across the Antarctic since Scott and Amundsen’s expeditions nearly a century ago. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) today offered hearty congratulations to Rachel, who was taking part in the Amundsen Omega 3 South Pole race.
Liz Cavan, Chair of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy said today: “This is a fantastic achievement. Rachel has overcome all the odds to complete this incredible endurance race despite struggling with ‘flu. She is a credit to the physiotherapy profession.”
Rachel and her teammates Hylton James and Phil Hayday Brown came fourth in the race in a time of 21 days and six hours. They endured temperatures as low as minus 52 degrees C and navigated dangerous crevasses across 430 miles of polar plateau, each pulling a 200lb sledge piled with equipment.
Ms Andrews, an extended scope physiotherapist based in a knee clinic within the physiotherapy department of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, is no stranger to extreme physical challenges, having completed an expedition to the North Pole in 2005, and rowed for Great Britain in the 1999 Commonwealth Games.
Nicki Martin, Head of Physiotherapy at Plymouth, said her colleague’s decision to take part in the race was ‘no surprise and completely in character’. She described Ms Andrews as a ‘single-minded person who really goes for it’.
"She wants the best out of herself and her drive and determination is clearly visible and she can relate very well to patients who want to get back to their activities", said Ms Martin.
Ms Andrews will return to England on February 3rd 2009.
Notes to editors
1. For more information, please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 6628/6616/6163. Out of hours call Becky Darke on 07900 160349.
2. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK's 48,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants.
3. NHS referrals to physiotherapy can be gained through your GP, or you can contact your local NHS physiotherapy department, to find out how you can get an appointment. Alternatively, find a private physiotherapist near you at www.physio2u.org.uk