Jumping for Charity in North Cyprus

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By Mary Day

Further to Margaret Sheard’s article, high winds this week have delayed the paraglide by these 3 brave souls including my friend Marion Youdon and I am pleased to be able to give our many readers the latest news of this leap of faith from the St Hilarion mountain.

Photo
Photo courtesy of Highline Paragliding

On Saturday 7th June, three brave people planned to take part in a tandem paraglide to raise money for various charities and these are Heather Dilley for Tulips, together with Roy Ashton for NCCCT and Marion Youdon for KAR.

The paraglide should have taken off from St Hilarion at about 12 noon and would have landed between 12.45 and 1pm. The landing site is at the rear of Bell Foods off the Karaoğlanoğlu road.

 

 

FLYING WITHOUT WINGS

On the morning of Monday 2nd June Marion Youden waits for her telephone to ring, why you may well ask? Marion has a date with Highline Air Tours to do a tandem paraglide in order to raise money for KAR.

Many of us would perhaps jump at the chance (sorry for the pun) and enjoy the build up of great excitement that would precede the big event but not Marion as she has since a very young child suffered with Vertigo. Marion can recollect that as young as four or five experiencing dizzy spells and the feeling of sickness from just trying to walk on a small 20 cm high wall something many of us would do with ease and not even think about it.  I can recall following my brother in a challenge to climb the highest tree or walk on top of the highest wall that we could find.

Marion Youdon

So now Marion is not only hoping to raise as much money as she possibly can for KAR she is also challenging herself and her fears which by no means are easy to overcome but then the news came that the jump had been postponed until Wednesday 4th June. Wednesday came and so did the strong winds and yet again the TRNC weather had got the better of them and the jump had to be postponed a 2nd time and was now rescheduled for Saturday 7th June. I  have nothing but admiration for Marion as it was only a few years ago that I was offered the opportunity to Tandem paraglide but due to lack of courage and my own medical concerns I must be honest I did decline  the offer.

Marion is not alone in her challenge as Roy Ashton is also going to take part in the Tandem paraglide to raise money on behalf of NCCCT along with Heather Dilley on behalf of Tulips.

Well after all the delays due to bad weather Saturday morning arrived and now with the build up the tension and nerves I headed off with Marion to Karaoğlanoğlu to the landing site to meet the team that would be taking Marion, Heather and Roy in the air and as the weather had been just a little unpredictable this week the three brave souls had decided to meet in a local café which gave me a perfect opportunity to have a coffee and a chat with them.

Roy Ashton
Roy Ashton

It turns out that Roy was the main instigator in all this with Marion and Heather being pulled in, after all how could they say no and from what I picked up they did not want to refuse as it was a great chance to help those charities that they so desperately wanted to raise funds for. Roy Ashton is by no means a fit man, he himself was in a road traffic accident some seven years ago which sadly saw the death of his wife.

Heather is certainly one lady to be admired as she herself has Thyroid cancer and at present is undergoing treatment for it. The three brave souls made me feel quite guilty for my lack of courage to do the jump myself some years ago and whilst sitting with them I could certainly feel Heather’s nervousness I felt great embarrassment in the fact that I had been such a wimp myself.

Heather Dilley

All three have collectively raised almost 7000 TL, which will certainly make a great difference to the selected charities.

As we enjoyed our coffee the dreaded phone call came to say that due to concerns of low clouds on the mountain the jump may have to be postponed again, I could hear the sighs of disappointment from these three brave people but they certainly appreciated the fact that their safety had been the priority of the day. The news came some 20 minutes later to confirm that regrettably the jump would have to be rescheduled.  Heather does have to be back in the UK next week and is concerned that she may not be able to do the jump before she goes but she is determined to do it when she returns to the TRNC later in the year if she is unable to do it on Monday, unfortunately she cannot say when this will be due to having treatment for her medical condition she said “if I am unable to do the jump before I leave I will still hand the money raised to Tulips and do the jump on my return”.  Roy has asked us to express thanks to Highline Air Tours for all the help and support that they have given.

The jump is now scheduled for Monday 9th June at 10:30 am, I will be there to show my support and hope that many others can also do the same.

With the strong winds this past week there was just enough time to hang on to an umbrella and get some last minute practice.

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