As a pupil at Fettes College, Harry Letts enjoys cross country running and rugby – but he stepped up to a new sporting level earlier this month with a ten-day trip to the Arctic with the innovative Polar Academy.
A group of ten from Fettes College and Edinburgh neighbours Broughton High School were selected for the endurance trip run by Bo’ness-based adventurer, Craig Mathieson.
For Harry, the memories will last for ever. He is now going to tour schools near his home in the Borders – Eyemouth High, Berwickshire High and Earlston High – to try to inspire others to follow in his footsteps.
“I was amazed, and proud, when I was selected to go, and then we had six months of hard training,” explained the 15-year-old. “We had a week at Glenmore Lodge in October, and then some hard sessions pulling tyres at Loch Lomond and along St Andrews beach.
“At times, the weather on the expedition was really wild. At one point, a tent almost blew away. And dragging the sledges was tough.
“But we also some incredible views, such as the Greenland ice cap, and made friends for life. It really taught me to be resourceful and how to work with a team.”
When he leaves school, Harry wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the army.
For organiser Mathieson, it was another hugely successful trip. An ex accountant, he started the Polar Academy three years ago.
“I really push the kids and the mixture of Fettes and Broughton High worked perfectly,” he said. “They all gelled instantly. Harry was brilliant. A real inspiration.”