Fireside Talk with Cathy O’Dowd and Aaron Phipps – Access All Areas
By British Exploring Society,
Does genuine accessibility to the outdoors really mean no restrictions?
For British Exploring Society, this question feels more crucial than ever.
To explore what it might mean to ‘Access All Areas’, we invited Aaron Phipps and Cathy O’Dowd for their thought-provoking perspectives and conversation around our virtual campfire.
Aaron Phipps and Cathy O’Dowd are remarkable, uniquely different individuals united by the records they’ve set by conquering specific challenges – which have traditionally excluded ‘people like them’ – and the career paths those achievements have set them on.
Like most worthwhile conversations, we didn’t land on easy solutions to the questions we raised. But Aaron and Cathy embraced honesty and ambiguity with their thought-provoking insights into the impact that access can have on an individual and how we can encourage more young people into the outdoors.
Aaron Phipps is a British Wheelchair Rugby player, Paralympian, motivational speaker and Father of two. In 2016 he scaled Mount Kilimanjaro on his hands and knees, becoming the first disabled Briton to reach the peak, and the first disabled person to reach it without assistance. Learn more about Aaron here.
Cathy O’Dowd is a South African rock climber, mountaineer, author and motivational speaker. She was the first woman in the world to climb Everest from both its north and south sides and continues to be an active adventurer. Learn more about Cathy here.