South Africa’s top men’s trail athlete Christiaan Greyling summited seven mountains in seven days to raise R45 000 towards a state-of-the-art special care school for disabled children to enjoy the freedom to move and learn.

Last week’s feat will help Starting Choice, a non-profit organisation in Cape Town’s Mfuleni, to realise their dream of a school with a clinic and specially-designed playground. The organisation, partially funded by HomeChoice, is committed to making a difference in the lives of children in the early childhood sector.

“This challenge to me was not about the money I raised, but it gave me reason for introspection to how fast we live our lives without noticing the people around us and the people who struggle,” Greyling said. The first six summits went smoothly for Christiaan, but he had to attempt the seventh summit twice as his child was ill and he was involved in a car accident.

“The biggest challenge was not the physical activity as initially expected, but the logistical issues to juggle during a normal work week. The everyday challenges included work and meetings, as well as issues such as a baby with high fever, a car accident, four birthdays, family dynamics and on top of that, staying true to my commitment of summiting seven mountains, with an elevation of more than 1000m every day. But I’m happy to say that I set out what I achieved to do.”

“I hope that my challenge inspires others to help similar organisations like Starting Chance,” concludes Greyling.