Photo comp: Natalie Ingoe, Cyprus
Natalie Ingoe
Award Level:
Favourite memory of the Award:
When I was doing my Bronze qualifying with my friends, it was our last day and in the morning the weather was brilliant - no forecasted rain whatsoever or any bad weather. As we stopped for lunch we still had a long way to go until the finishing point. So, as we sat down to eat our lunch suddenly we heard the thunder growling. We all started panicking since we still had a long way to go. The clouds were grey and dark and we had to start moving. My team of girls started putting their waterproofs that came with their hiking bag and they asked me if I had one and I told them that my bag was made waterproof (didn't know much about the bag, but turns out it wasn't waterproof at all). Suddenly it started raining heavily and we were all caught up in the rain. We had a choice either to give up the Award now or keep moving to finish it. As we were moving we were all pouring wet. Kids were slipping here and there. Sliding down muddy soil. Getting their clothes dirty. (As I look back to it, it was probably the funniest thing ever) people looked at me thinking, i had hypothermia because it was absolutely freezing. We were all sharing clothes, putting whatever was in our bags on us. Even if it was a bin bag. Kids shoes were getting lost since they stepped on mud and slid down a hill. Ahaha. It kept on raining for a good 2 hours of walking. We all kept losing things like tents and sleeping mats since the wind was so strong. We did get punished for that later on but we were only children. Looking back at the memory it was so funny.
Biggest challenge from doing the Award:
Being away from your family for a while, makes you want to miss them more but it pays off because you slowly forget since you've got your friends with you at all times and you have a great time with them. Sometimes the walking was challenging, since we had to cover so many kms per day, but doing it with friends and getting caught up in a convo throughout the whole journey makes your forget all the pain on your legs.
Have you continued any of your Award activities? If so, what:
Yes i have. Rowing is one of my activities I have used throughout the DOE awards. And its become part of me. I constantly think about my goals and ambitions I have with rowing. And what I always dream of doing is to become a world champion and participate in the Olympics through my hard work and dedication. If not this year, then next year. I'll come back stronger every year until I find a spot for myself in the under 18s championships. Hopefully I can represent Cyprus in the Olympics in the future. I wont stop chasing my dreams, because I know a humbled self will achieve ones goal!
Tell us the story behind your photo:
We were doing a yoga class after 21km of walking from morning until the late afternoon. We were all so tired that we sat down and had a yoga session. It was so fun because we all struggled together and then we were all relaxing together preparing for our last night finishing DOE gold, and knowing that tomorrow afternoon we would be sleeping in our warm beds. Moments like these are very unforgettable. And the friends that I have made through my journey of DOE have now become one of my best friends!
Award Role: