Her Majesty the Queen has given permission for a unique new walking challenge at Balmoral Castle to mark Armed Forces Day (June 24).
The ‘Balmoral Challenge’, organised by military charity Walking With The Wounded, will see up to 50 teams of four compete one of three mountainous routes on The Queen’s estate - with each team supporting a vulnerable veteran to regain their independence and reintegrate into society.
Teams will meet and compete against the charity’s beneficiaries from across Scotland and hear first- hand how they have overcome physical, mental and social injuries, such as homelessness, to get back into work and independence.
Duncan Slater from Muir of Ord near Inverness lost both his legs serving in Afghanistan when his vehicle hit an IED.
He recovered to become the first double leg amputee to ski to the South Pole as part of WWTW’s South Pole Allied Challenge in 2013 and helped recce the routes for the Balmoral Challenge ahead of its launch – challenging others to get involved.
Duncan also became the first double amputee to complete the gruelling Marathon Des Sables – 6 marathons in 5 days – in May this year.
He said: “The area is stunning and finishing in front of the castle is very special.
“It will be a great way for people to show their support for our veterans and have a really memorable experience at the same time.
“Everyone has their own challenges and fitness levels but it is important that people have a goal to work towards and this will be a fun one to take on as a team.”
The challenge also celebrates the history of the estate with the three routes making the most of the historical... Cont on page 39.