Bexhill woman’s expedition to the South Pole

Jan Meek with Tanvi Buch and Madhvi Amrita Mitra SUS-181209-165700001
Jan Meek with Tanvi Buch and Madhvi Amrita Mitra SUS-181209-165700001

A world record holder from Bexhill is leading an all-women expedition to the South Pole later this year.

Jan Meek, who completed a trek to the North Pole 10 years ago and holds four Guinness World Records, will be heading off in December after putting together the team.

This week Jan, together with Tanvi Buch and Madhvi Amrita Mitra, the two Indian members of her Polar-Maidens, all women’s expedition, have been training together in Bexhill.

They will be facing a 120-mile trek at temperatures that could reach minus 40C across the Antarctic’s unforgiving ice and snow in chilling gusting winds.

Jan said: “We are not soldiers, professional athletes nor celebrities. We have come together to do something less ordinary and demonstrate how far women have come since Scott’s 1912 expedition when the idea of women contemplating the trek would have been unheard of.

“We were thrilled that in his State of the Nation address the Indian Prime Minister singled out Tanvi and Madhvi and our Polar Maidens expedition as examples of Indian enterprise.

“We are now part of the ‘Living Bridge’, the India – UK soft power initiative to promote closer trade, investment and cultural relations between our two great countries.

“Indian businesses and individuals have responded with pledges of funds and sponsorship we hope we will get the same enthusiastic and financial support in the UK.”

Since Jan gained her first Guinness World Record in 1997 she has spoken to more than 700 schools and voluntary organisations, inspiring pupils, teachers and parents.

The Polar-Maidens expedition will raise funds for her INSPIRATIONELLE Foundation, which aims to support women of all ages wanting to do something extraordinary.

As part of her training Jan and team members have been hauling tyres along Bexhill, St Leonards and Hastings seafronts and doing intensive workouts at Zeus Gym. Earlier in the year they underwent training in Norway to provide an insight of the conditions they will face.

They have also spent a week together in Scotland as a team with their expert guide as part of their preparation.