Posted 08/08/2019

Proper planning prevents poor performance

The story of Captain Scott

In less than 6 months I will be setting off on the incredible Head South challenge! 

With proper planning underway, I can’t help but ponder on how Captain Scott would have prepared for his Terra Nova Expedition of 1910-1912 to the South Pole, one of the most ambitious scientific endeavours of its time.

Tragically for Scott and his team their adventure didn’t end well. Not only were they beaten to the pole by a Norweigan team, they all perished from the extreme cold on the return journey within just 20km of much-needed supplies! But what a valuable legacy Scott leaves behind…

As a society we must salute Scott for his trailblazing tenacity. He paved the way for modern-day expeditions and fundraising missions, inspiring others to follow in his footsteps and take on extreme challenges such as Head South to raise funds and awareness for vital causes, such as the Lewis Moody Foundation. 


When I start to consider the rudimentary tools and equipment that Scott and his team had available to them in the early 1900s, it really puts things in perspective. 

Their clothing and equipment would have been made of natural materials, such as canvas, wool and fur. Snow goggles, an essential piece of kit, made of either wire-gauze and smoked glass, or a piece of leather framed with wood and a slit in place of the glass. Sleeping bags made of reindeer fur which was effective in dry conditions but if the sleeping bags got wet or iced up, they soon became stiff and heavy to carry… 

Scott’s trip is often criticised for its poor preparation and relying heavily on British pluckiness. Including taking insufficiently trained ponies instead of dogs to haul the sled through the snow, without enough pairs of snowshoes, making progress slow. Resulting in men hauling sledges in fur-lined clothing across the snow.


We are so lucky as modern-day explorers to have the benefit of hindsight as well as lightweight, breathable, synthetic materials, custom-built carbon fibre sledges and cutting edge inventions such as satellite technology to guide the way and help us stay in touch with loved ones. As a self-confessed techie, this gives me the freedom to operate anywhere in the world, even from the South Pole!

However, no amount of prior planning changes the fact that weather conditions in Antarctica are the harshest in the world. Reality is starting to kick in as training begins in earnest over the next few months. 

I know why I am about to push myself to the extreme limit: raising vital funds from the Headsouth challenge enabling the Lewis Moody Foundation to fund pioneering new research into brain tumours. I am not asking you to come with me on foot, but please join me in spirit by donating right here, right now.  

Our expedition will – with luck – not ‘head south’ or end up being ‘the worst journey in the world’ like Scott’s. Having the right equipment is the difference between success and failure, life and death. Just as having the right treatment is vital for the victims of brain tumours. 

Please don’t hesitate, donate today and help to improve survival rates for those with a brain tumour by donating via JustGiving. Every penny will go towards the right equipment for cancer sufferers through the The Tessa-Jowell BRAIN-MATRIX and BRIAN: the Brain tumouR Information and Analysis Network


To donate to this great cause please click here today

Thank you for supporting me to help raise funds for everyone touched by Brain Tumours, together we can make a difference!

Lewis Moody Foundation

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Breaking Ground for Brain Tumours