Editor’s Note: Ambassador Tegan De Clark got up close and personal with Alyssa Azar, Australia’s youngest adventurer set to conquer Mt Everest in 2014. Photo credit: Sydney Owen
There doesn’t appear to be a shortage young Australians who are set on taking the world by storm. Toowoomba resident, Alyssa Azar, is giving life a red hot go with a big, hairy, audacious goal – to become Australia’s youngest person to reach the summit of the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest.
At 16, her goal is no whimsical dream. It’s been in the works since 2011 and with nine months to go, her vision is quickly taking shape. At the first official event to launch her Everest climb, she spoke at the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Lunch at Picnic Point on the 10th of July 2013 about the challenges and experiences she faces as the country’s youngest adventurer.
“Everything is on track and where it needs to be, so hopefully we can all get behind it and I’m really thankful for the support. Between now and then though, I’ve got two major climbs before the goal of Everest within the next few months,” Alyssa explains.
You have to become a better person in order to achieve a goal like that.
Mount Everest is certainly not her first major adventure. At age 8, she became the youngest person to complete the Kokoda Track, a grueling 96km trek through rugged and isolated terrain in Papua New Guinea. Then at age 10, she reached Mount Everest Base Camp and at 12 years of age, she reached the summit of Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciusko.
Statistically, 97% of Australians who attempted the Mount Everest ascent, unfortunately, failed to complete the climb. Alyssa is driven by more than a sense of personal achievement. “My purpose is to encourage younger people to get out and live a little bit. See what they can do with their lives and to chase their dreams. And for me, seeing how far I can push my limits. I really want to see what I can achieve.”
Everest is also more of a mental challenge. “You have to become a better person in order to achieve a goal like that. It’s a large part of it, it’s more than just the summit itself”
Her father Glenn Azar is one of her biggest supporters and has been a big inspiration to her. They began adventures together when she was 5. He stressed that along with all the preparation, professional training and mental focus, Alyssa is also trying to raise funds to support her goal. “We’re very confident that Alyssa can make it to the top of Mt Everest. She has as good a chance as anyone who has ever made the summit. What we have no control over, is the finances and the battle to get there, which is why we need your support”
For young people, Alyssa has this message: “If you have a dream or a goal, work hard and take risks. Stop worrying about whether you’re going to fail or not and just work on what you can do to achieve your goal.”
If you’d like to help Alyssa climb Mt Everest, visit www.alyssaazar.com.au.
For other events by the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, visit www.toowoombachamber.com.au.
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