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In 2010 Stoke Newington resident, Dwayne Fields became the first Black Briton to walk from the most northern point of Canada to the magnetic North Pole, covering over 400 miles in 22 days (of which 16 days was a race) across snow and frozen ocean, when he competed in the Peary and Hansen Race with an organisation called the Polar Challenge. He raised over £1000 for charity.
Dwayne, 28, completed his trek to the North Pole 100 years after Matthew Henson (a Black American), reached the North Pole. However Henson was denied the honour, instead fellow explorer Robert Peary, went down in history as the first man to reach the North Pole.
To prepare for his arctic challenge, Fields underwent 10 months gruelling training with with other members of the team, which included training in Norway, to help acclimatize him to the North Pole’s arctic climate.
Not one to rest on his laurels, his next polar challenge will be to the South Pole in November 2012. But before then, he’d like to fulfil a life time ambition, to carry the Olympic torch in the 2012 games. Nomination begins in May, but he has already began to garner support for his nomination.
Jamaican born Dwayne came to the UK as a 6 year old. He lived in Palmers Green north London, before settling in Hackney, where he has been a victim of gun and knife crime. He has survived two stabbings and once had a gun pointed at his chest – fortunately the gun jammed twice – that’s when he had his road to Damascus moment.
He told Hackney Hive “I knew I had to aim much higher and really make something of my life”.
A 3rd year student at University of East London (UEL), he is studying for a combined honors in Psychology and Third World Studies. He says: “I’d like to help others less fortunate and especially in developing countries and can see myself working for a NGO.”
Dwayne also gives motivational talks, helps raise money for charities and aims to establish a Youth Empowerment Centre to encourage young people to actively take on challenges, designed to test their social skills, concentration, endurance and determination.
He explained, “I’m easily motivated and if I can help others to take a chance and believe in themselves, it will all be worthwhile.
“There are so many people who have inspired me and I want to be able to do the same for others. I’m very determined and a lot of what I do is not a massive effort for me.
He added, “I want to be able to inspire people especially young people to strive for better. I want them to challenge themselves every day.”
Asked how he combines working part time at Barclays Bank, studying, community work and training, he smiled and answered “I just do it. I love a challenge”.
More about Dwayne Fields: