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The La Concha Challenge 2020

Sunday 19th January saw the P.E. Department return to a familiar foe. The La Concha mountain that adorns the skyline of Marbella, from whichever angle you choose to approach, is a domineering and intimidating structure. Mythological folklore has it that it has, in the past, been rechristened the ¨Mother in Law¨ due to her dominating aspect and panoramic, somewhat permanent, surveillance over the entire Marbella region!

Nothing can happen in the realms below without, it would seem, the overarching perusal of this majestic mother mountain. Standing 1200m tall the shadow that this emanating structure casts on each day, and from each angle, is, for some, undoubtedly intimidating. Indeed, the fabled mountain metaphor is that ? we do not conquer the boulders and granite but rather ourselves¨ when we take on such an arduous ascent! Despite the size of our task, the uptake was typically EIC in proportions.

We were blessed by our second highest uptake, ever, for the 2020 challenge. Our 7th attempt at this beast. Nearly 70 participants as experienced as Mr Hogan down to as enthusiastic as Reggie Lesley (Year 1). Each climber facing their own fears and foes. For some it was fitness, for others vertigo, a few suffered from panic at the precipice, indeed there were even screams at the sight of some infamous caterpillars, while some others just pined for a pint!

However, we pressed on as a collective, supported by our guides from Descubre and emboldened by the sunshine breaking through the clouds. Having set off in the darkness of dawn, the summit of La Concha was awash with bright sunshine and some welcome respite. Every single participant made it to the top, each conquering their own challenges. We salute you all. Even more praise is deserved as this event has raised nearly 500 euros for the Darkness into Light Charity. Their representatives had met us at dawn as we set off on our challenge and they celebrated our arrival at the top with a flurry of congratulatory messages. Their work is primarily with combating suicide through mental health initiatives and counseling. Their relevance with young people can not be felt more acutely than in this current time and we are grateful to help raise awareness and promote discussion around a typically taboo subject. Indeed, I hope all participants can reflect on the enormity of their personal and collective achievement. 1200m climbed on foot and sometimes by hand. Hundreds of euros raised, heads cleared and points to our inner doubts made.

Mind over Matter now further reinforced by Mind over Mountain.
La Concha 0 EIC 1. Fears and failings conquered by persistence and perseverance. The moral of the mountain I suppose.

With thanks, from the P.E. Department, to all participants for your role in ¨La Concha 2020.¨

Any further donations to this much needed charity are welcome via the office.

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